KoreConX, a Permissioned Digital Securities Platform, Launches “Infrastructure of Trust”

KoreConX has launched the “Infrastructure of Trust” for the global private capital markets.

According to KoreConX, the Infrastructure of Trust empowers participants such as private companies, investors, broker-dealers, secondary market operators, lawyers, investor relations firms, transfer agents, share registry, regulators, and many others to conduct securities transactions in fluid and frictionless way.

KoreConX states that private markets are currently “opaque” making it difficult to validate information thus increasing cost and degrading efficiency. The underlying cause is simple, states KoreConX, millions of independent and fragmented providers have no connected infrastructure and more importantly, no trust in the integrity of the information they come across.

The public capital markets have an infrastructure that provides standards and efficiencies with which all participants in the public markets can integrate. Now, the Infrastructure of Trust allows participants of the private capital markets to enjoy the same benefits without excluding anyone.

Oscar Jofre, co-founder & CEO at KoreConX, commented on the announcement:

 “My personal journey in democratization of capital is going 10+ years strong. The major realization I’ve had three years go was that to really make a lasting change in the private capital markets, you don’t disrupt, you empower. Once you empower the ecosystem, you can finally say we are now in an age of transformation.”

The Infrastructure of Trust is an ecosystem on the KoreChain, a permissioned blockchain built on Hyperledger Fabric. Participants on the KoreChain are required to be regulated entities and authorized to validate securities transactions.

 “The way to really improve private capital markets is to connect-together the existing regulated entities that service this market, no matter their size or location, and streamline and standardize processes in much the same way that broker dealers have connected into stock exchanges, ATSs, clearing organizations and other entities.  We need regulated professionals to work together in a system to create a broader ecosystem that they trust, in order to simplify execution, compliance, and distribution while reducing direct and indirect costs.” said David Weild, former Vice Chairman of NASDAQ and Founder of Weild & Co.

The Infrastructure of Trust is said to deliver an all-in-one platform of key applications for managing the complete lifecycle of various securities such as shares, options, warrants, bonds, debentures, promissory notes, and other complex instruments.

Kevin Saunders, Partner, Non Correlated Capital, shared his insight on the new ecosystem:

“This Infrastructure of Trust is exactly the solution our industry needs. This is going to transform how I can help my clients access capital worldwide and work with other broker-dealers, law firms, secondary markets, and investor.  This is a Game Changer for my business.”

Dr. Kiran Garimella, Chief Scientist and Technology Officer at KoreConX, explained that in designing the new ecosystem they kept the needs of the private capital markets at the forefront.

“We chose not to get distracted with inadequate, untrustworthy, and unscalable public blockchains. This launch and the continuing evolution of the Infrastructure of Trust is an expression of our belief that our permissioned blockchain best serves the needs of the private capital market ecosystem,” said Garimella.

Ownera Digital Securities API Plans Launch in Partnership with Amazon

Ownera, an emerging digital securities network for the issuance of blockchain-based securities, says it will be releasing its “Digital Securities API” utilizing the Amazon Managed Blockchain service running HyperLedger Fabric. A recent research report noted that Hyperledger Fabric appears to be the clear winner for enterprise blockchain projects.

Ownera states that its network will be one where all nodes will be regulated financial entities such as banks, asset managers and exchanges, who underwrite and distribute the assets on the network.

The Ownera API to be released is described as being a simple and powerful software integration for the issuance and management of digital securities (or security tokens). A forthcoming Hackathon being held at the upcoming CIS Conference in LA (October 13-15) will demo the API and allow developers access to the platform in a competition for the most innovative use of the digital security platform.

Ownera seeks to empower the issuance of institutional-grade digital securities as well as trading and management platforms. This includes KYC/AML, investor accreditation, and ongoing investor management.

Ownera incorporates asset management with a “Know your Asset” (KYA) feature created by the company to include verified asset information and investor rights in an immutable and legally-binding way in the blockchain as an integral part of every digital security. Ownera has also included Atomic Swap transaction capabilities to enable the instant sale of digital securities for any currency credit, fiat or digital.

During CIS, Owner founder and CEO, Ami Ben-David, will be doing a presentation, followed by a fireside chat to discuss the next evolution of digital securities into the institutional market, and how Amazon is providing the infrastructure.

Russia’s Largest Bank Sberbank Purchases $15 Million in Debt via HyperLedger Blockchain

Russia’s largest financial institution Sberbank has reportedly purchased around $15 million worth of accounts receivable from Trafigura, a Singaporean commodity trading firm that leverages blockchain technology.

The pilot transaction was conducted on the Hyperledger Fabric platform, according to a representative from Sberbank. The blockchain-based purchase used Fabric’s private collections feature, which allows data to be kept confidential among selected network participants.

The DLT-powered system piloted by the Russian bank uses smart contracts that have been programmed using the Scala language. The system’s software also uses the Aurelia framework and the bank’s proprietary cloud solution, SberCloud. A block of complete transactions is formed in only one second, according to Sberbank’s management.

The deal was finalized last week at the Eastern Economic Forum, held in Vladivostok, Russia, by the institution’s first deputy chairman Alexander Vedyakhin. 

Technical details and the value of the deal have not been disclosed.

A client in Turkey owed Trafigura the receivables acquired by Sberbank.

Vedyakhin noted that the technology-assisted in improving the efficiency of the document flow, which helped reduce the time required to complete the transaction “from one day to one hour.”

Explaining how the pilot transaction was performed, Vedyakhin noted:

“Our blockchain pilot project records every step of the transaction: request for purchase of receivables, application processing and its approval with the bank, issuing the bank’s offer, confirmation of terms by Trafigura, and settlement of the transaction.”

The pilot demonstrated that blockchain technology has improved significantly, and is now providing real value to businesses, Sberbank’s representatives said.

The bank’s spokesperson also pointed out:

“What we see in 2019, and in this pilot in particular, is an ongoing evolution of this tech, from a promising but not yet developed technology into a more advanced and mature solution ready to live up to its initial disruptive image.” 

Sberbank and Trafigura are now planning to explore the use of blockchain in enhancing global trade finance processes, the spokesperson revealed.

Previously, Sberbank’s blockchain lab used Hyperledger Fabric while looking into the different types of distributed ledgers. In November 2018, the banking giant conducted an off-exchange repurchase agreement deal with Russian investment firm Interros’ branch in Cyprus.

Hyperledger Announces 11 New Members

Hyperledger, an open-source collaborative effort created to advance cross-industry blockchain technologies, announced on Wednesday it has welcomed 11 new members to its enterprise blockchain community. Hyperledger reported that the announcement comes as its members from around the globe are meeting in Tokyo, Japan, at the annual Hyperledger Member Summit, a two-day event dedicated to community-driven planning, training, and networking.

“Hyperledger is a multi-venture, multi-stakeholder effort hosted at the Linux Foundation that includes various enterprise blockchain and distributed ledger technologies. Hyperledger continues to grow its membership, technology portfolio and domain expertise. In addition to these latest new members, Hyperledger recently added a 14th project, Hyperledger Transact.”

Brian Behlendorf, Executive Director at Hyperledger, stated:

“Our annual member summit is always a time to reflect on our progress as a community and a springboard for new technology. It’s rewarding to see our projects are now powering hundreds of production networks, and we are going deeper into enterprises and wider with our developments every day. The newest members add even more depth and breadth to our community, which is the driving force behind our mission of advancing open source enterprise blockchain adoption.”

The latest members joining Hyperledger are the following:

  • Bitfury
  • Blockforce
  • Cargill
  • The Elamachain Foundation
  • FNZ
  • Mindtree
  • Splunk
  • Truffle Blockchain Group
  • Unbound Tech

New York Times Trialing “Blockchain” to Combat Photo Doctoring in Fake News

The New York Times’ Research & Development team is trialing IBM’s Hyperledger Fabric permissioned DLT (distributed ledger technology) system to help ensure the progeny of photographs distributed across digital platforms, where the risks of fake news and photo doctoring are manifold.

“The New York Times Research & Development team is launching The News Provenance Project to experiment with product design and user-facing tools to try to make the origins of journalistic content clearer to our audiences,” project lead Sasha Koren writes in a blog post regarding the launch.

Proper means of assuring the veracity of media content could not be more critical, says Koren:

“In a time of heightened political polarization and widespread social media use, the prevalence of misinformation online is a persistent problem, with increasingly serious effects on elections and the stability of governments around the world. In addition to false statements published as fact in text and photos that have been manipulated or republished out of context, instances of manipulated video are now on the rise. How should news organizations respond to this crisis?”

Permissioned distributed ledgers are often referred to as “blockchains” but for various reasons, the term is controversial.

Suffice it to say the system in this case, if it passes proof of concept, will allow multiple parties to access and use consensus to update photo records:

“Why blockchain? Its underlying structure as a ‘distributed ledger’ (a database that is not housed on one set of servers owned and operated by one entity, but by many entities and servers that are kept updated simultaneously) is useful for this project because it makes the records of each change traceable: files are not so much changed as built upon. Any updates to what is published are recorded in a sequential string (or ‘blocks’ in a ‘chain’) with the string of those changes adding up to create a provenance.”

As well,

“By experimenting with publishing photos on a blockchain, we might, in theory, provide audiences with a way to determine the source of a photo, or whether it had been edited after it was published.”

Koren says The Times solution was inspired partly by The Guardian’s decision to change how it displays dates on old articles after  it saw traffic on old articles spiking when they had been, “shared as new, and with incorrect context, on Facebook.”

The Times joins a host of other media firms and non-profits trying to combat false reporting.

“As misinformation tools continue to evolve,” Koren writes, “so have strategies to identify and avoid it. Some recent standout examples include the Washington Post’s visual explainer of manipulated video and the Wall Street Journal’s creation of a team to help its journalists identify deepfakes. In addition, a number of news-centric nonprofits — including First Draft, which provides guidance in verifying content found on the social web, consortiums like Misinfocon, the Credibility Coalition, and manymany others — have emerged to study the issue from a variety of perspectives and provide much-needed research and training.”

Other news organizations are welcome to contribute to the trial:

“We’re working from within The New York Times Company, but not solely on behalf of it. A successful implementation will require collaboration and use among many organizations…(W)e’ll make what we learn publicly available in the hopes that it may be of interest and of use to other publishers. We would love to have more participants join us in this experimentation — particularly news outlets that publish original photos and that serve different audiences from The Times’s.”

Legaltech Monax Uses Blockchain to Help SMEs, Targets Real Estate Industry & More

Monax is a blockchain based platform that seeks to lead the sector regarding “digital legal infrastructure.” While finance may be the immediate focus for much of the blockchain industry, other early-stage firms are using the tech to improve a diverse sector of businesses. Edinburgh-based Monax is targeting the legal industry, a sector of business that is in need of disruption.

The Legaltech launched its beta platform this past February. Monax looks to support small-to-midsize businesses “enabling users to leverage digital contracts to control risk and drive business systems.”

Monax reports that since its private beta launch in December of last year, the platform has successfully helped “dozens of corporations and individuals with their legal contract needs.”

The Monax Platform consists of two segments: the Monax Dealspace and the Monax Studio.

Dealspace enables users to delegate and coordinate team contractual tasks or approvals, automate repetitive contractual tasks, track the state of contractual obligations, and more.

Studio allows users to graphically create and test their obligations’ workflows.

In mid-2018, Monax readjusted its approach and announced it was “laser focused” on being one of the founding companies behind the Agreements Network, a decentralized contract management system.

It’s an intriguing concept that may be difficult to visualize unless you are in the thick of using the service.

Curious to learn more about pairing blockchain tech with the legal industry, Crowdfund Insider reached out to Casey Kuhlman, CEO and founder of Monax.

Our discussion is below.


What is the genesis of Monax? At what point did you envision the potential of blockchain?

Casey Kuhlman: Monax was formed in 2014 as one of the early vanguard of companies exploring the application of blockchain technology to business use cases. I became involved in this technology in early 2014 and was instantly captured by the range of functionality it can offer.

Coming from a legal and technology background, I was keenly aware of the challenges which exist in terms of being able to track authenticated actions between and across companies. This is the core value proposition of blockchains for business, and as I had seen in numerous contexts, it is the exact same roadblock to scaling a plurality of legal technologies.

At Monax, we have combined these two streams of needs and capabilities to develop an open platform for small businesses to create, prove, and operate their legal agreements.

Are you a Legaltech? Fintech? Both? Do SMEs need blockchain to manage their legal agreements?

Casey Kuhlman: We’re very much a legal technology product.

We use blockchain to do something very unique and very new for the small business market; namely, we allow our users to leverage the collaborative nature of what this technology can offer, to track and manage their contractual obligations, and the fulfillment of those obligations, leveraging the technology as a suite of software.

Put another way, what we do is we allow our users to leverage this technology to its fullest by enabling “the computers to run their contracts.”

This is genuinely new and exciting in the landscape of SME solutions, because for the first time these businesses have access to some of the most cutting edge technology to manage and automate their legal functions.

Are you only using Hyperledger for your products?

Casey Kuhlman: At Monax we use a range of open source technologies. One of the more predominant codebases we use is Hyperledger Burrow – a fast, efficient, Ethereum Virtual Machine compatible blockchain client.

You recently said general purpose blockchains are doomed. Like Ethereum etc. Is Permissioned the only viable option?

Casey Kuhlman: This question conflates two very different things. When I said that I do not believe that general purpose blockchains are viable, I was not speaking about public or permissioned blockchains in the slightest. Indeed, at the beginning of that series of Twitter posts, I explicitly address where Bitcoin fits into the paradigm that I was outlining.

My point was that a general purpose computing platform in the short and medium term will face significant headwinds in terms of how to optimize its many characteristics for a general purpose audience.

As we have seen with the Bitcoin “debates” in terms of whether the blockchain is meant to be “digital gold” or “digital cash” (the “digital gold” side of that equation clearly winning for the “Bitcoin” blockchain) these debates are very hard to do and even harder to make majority and minority constituencies both happy.

Tell me about real estate and what Monax is doing for this sector of industry?

Casey Kuhlman: The Monax Platform is great for the real estate industry because it essentially is a plethora of contracts, and putting all of the processes for property development into blockchain will streamline documentation and interactions.

Using the same digital interface will help to simplify the process.

There is also an opportunity, for example, to bring more certainty in rent-regulated markets. By systemizing these processes, it will be helpful for property owners and managers, as well as those leasing the spaces.

Additionally, blockchain has the ability to take the real estate investment sequence and tokenize it. This will provide easier partial ownership.

You just launched a public beta of the Monax platform – correct?

Casey Kuhlman: Yes, we announced the public beta launch in launched in February 2019, and the Monax Platform is now available for production-level commercial use. The Monax Platform is a relationship-centric workspace for small-to-midsize businesses enabling users to leverage digital contracts to control risk and drive business systems. It features ready-to-use tooling that allows businesses to model, track, and visualize their contractual obligations in a real-time, secure environment.

What is the Agreements Network?

Casey Kuhlman:  The Agreements Network is a public, permissioned, blockchain network that redefines how legal products and services support the networked economy by delivering legal know-how to the market.

It is a new tool for delivering legal know-how to the market. In the networked economy, legal contracting happens less on paper and moves to devices and software.

Using the Agreements Network, lawyers and companies can design and operate contracts to perform legal jobs, such as contract management and collecting, storing and proving evidence.

The Agreements Network’s legal reference layer is a new tool for tracking important information including chain of custody for assets and also supporting creation of new products that will transform legal contracting for years to come.

Can you provide some insight into your clients?

Casey Kuhlman: As we are in public beta stage, we are working with a number of companies currently, mainly tech start-ups on the initial stages of the process.

We are also working with real estate companies as they are also a great fit for our product.

Hyperledger Launches Fourth Active Project Hyperledger Iroha 1.0

Hyperledger, an open source collaborative effort created to advance cross-industry blockchain technologies, announced on Monday the general availability of Hyperledger Iroha 1.0, which is the fourth active Hyperledger project to reach 1.0, following Hyperledger Fabric, Hyperledger Sawtooth and Hyperledger Indy.

According to Hyperledger, Iroha is a distributed ledger project that aims to provide a development environment where C++ and mobile application developers can contribute to Hyperledger. New Hyperledger Iroha 1.0 features include:

  • YAC Consensus: A consensus protocol that ensures the  safety of the ledger, even if some nodes are faulty or cannot be trusted. The protocol scales linearly in the peer network size.
  • Fully Operational Multisignature: An option for transactions when your application needs multiple signatures for transaction settlement.
  • Updated client libraries: Support for writing applications on many different platforms from mobile to mainframe using many different programming languages such as Java (compatible with Android, Scala etc.), JS, Python, and iOS.
  • Windows support (experimental): Hyperledger Iroha now natively runs on Windows, as well as in Linux and MacOS environments.

While sharing more details about the project, Brian Behlendorf, Executive Director of Hyperledger, stated:

“It’s extremely gratifying to see another one of Hyperledger’s active projects hit the 1.0 milestone. This is a huge testament to the strong collaboration of our growing community. I look forward to seeing development efforts around Hyperledger Iroha continue to grow and more and more productions systems powered by the framework later this year.”

Hyperledger added it aims to create distributed ledger technology that enables organizations to build and run robust, industry-specific applications, platforms and hardware systems to support their individual business transactions. The consortium now has more than 270 members with steady growth since its inception, spanning various industries including finance, healthcare, the Internet of Things, credit card services, supply chain, and aeronautics, among several others.

Entrex and IBM Partner on “Opportunity Zone” Trading Platform to Bring Capital to Developing Parts of US

Entrex Capital Market has announced that it has created, “a nationwide capital market system that helps investors and advisors find, research, track, manage and trade securities of private companies and funds within opportunity zones.”

The release from Entrex states that their new program could help drive billions into low income communities struggling to access growth capital:

“Here’s the backstory: In 2017, the US Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) introduced a community development program called Opportunity Zones. Designated by the government across 50 states, opportunity zones are low-income, economically distressed communities. The aim of the federal program is to spur development in these struggling areas by offering tax breaks to investors who reinvest their capital gains in private companies and funds in the designated zones.”

The company’s LinkedIN page says Entrex previously managed, “a ‘Capital Market System for Entrepreneurial Companies’…”  that used a proprietary software system called, “TIGRcub Securities via the eChain- the trading ledger for TIGRcub Securities.”

Entrex’s new system uses securities ledger tech from IBM (Blockchain, Domino, Notes, XPages) and Hyperledger Fabric.

IBM/Entrex claim their platform:

  • “Reduces (token) launch time by two-thirds, from months to days”
  • “Delivers a complete audit trail of all transactions”

Entrex says it seeks to go where Wall Street has not:

“Wall Street struggles to efficiently invest in small local businesses with annual revenues of less than USD 200 million. Meanwhile the majority of opportunity zone investing is in funds or businesses of just this size.”

Entrex Founder and CEO Stephen H. Watkins says there is a definite demand for Entrex services:

“Even though small and midsize businesses are among the nation’s largest employers and generate steady profits year after year, it’s often difficult for them to secure the investments they need to take their growth to the next level. This is a significant portion of the market that wasn’t being served by Wall Street broker-dealers and financial advisors, and we wanted to address it.”

The Entrex/IBM/Hyperledger system will, “simplify how investors and brokers offered capital to local entrepreneurial companies.”

He states:

“We wanted to empower businesses to trade securities in a way similar to the public markets…Our goal was to offer an end-to-end solution, from the originating brokers at the start of the process to the placement deal brokers, investors and secondary traders further downstream. But because we operate in a highly regulated industry, it was also crucial that our new platform could deliver a complete audit trail of all transactions for regulatory and compliance purposes.”

“So we set out to find a solution with the security and scalability we needed to meet our goals.”

The Entrex Capital Market Program for Opportunity Zones appears to only be available to accredited investors at this time.

For more information, please consult the full release here.

Distributed Banking Ledger: Fincross Preps Launch of Blockchain based Investment Bank

Recently, it was announced that Fincross International will be the lead sponsor for the upcoming Security Token Summit taking place in LA this spring – as well as CIS. A relatively new company, Fincross is described as “a next-generation digital investment bank.”

The digital investment bank is said to bridge the realms of traditional and digital finance. Led by former Société Générale CEO, of the Middle East and Africa, Eddy Abramo, Fincross is apparently building a plethora of financial products based on proprietary distributed ledger technology (DLT). The bank claims it will “revolutionize” digital assets for both institutional and individual investors and will enable clients to transact with instant settlement on a “peer-to-peer basis.”

Fincross is also moving into the primary issuance business of security tokens. Their tech is expected to create an ecosystem to provide both custody and trading in digital assets.

“Our firm will serve a diverse group of clients ranging from global investment funds and corporations to individuals seeking professional digital asset services and investment management all in one place,” said Henry James, Deputy CEO of Fincross International.

Founded in 2017 and regulated in Mauritius by the Financial Services Commission, the bank expects to onboard its first clients in Q2 of 2019.

Curious, we reached out to James for some additional information regarding their vision for an investment bank that utilizes distributed ledger technology.

We asked James what is “distributed banking ledger” and what are the benefits?

“Fincross launches the testnet of its DBL at the end of May. The DBL is a distributed network that combines certain characteristics from Hyperledger Fabric and Ethereum to create a high-performance network dedicated to financial services transactions and smart contracts,” said James.

Here are some of the user benefits he described pertaining to their DBL:

  • Almost instant speed and low cost of transactions
  • All participants on the network have passed Fincross KYC – thus a whitelisted ecosystem that enables even less friction and opens up a trusted environment for P2P finance, STOs, escrow services and much more
  • The ability for participants to launch bespoke smart contracts on the DBL via Fincross client platform
  • Nodes are selected through voting power linked to the FNX token
  • Reporting linked to all DBL transactions packaged and provided by Fincross

We asked James as to what type of products do they expect to issue or pursue. He said Fincross will be an issuer of the following financial products:

  • X2 private investment funds (alpha and beta)
  • Tokenized structured products
  • STOs

Additionally, Fincross will be a distributor of the following financial products:

  • Niche private investment funds/fund of hedge funds/mutual funds
  • STOs

We inquired as to who are Fincross investors and how much they have raised to date. James said they have raised $2.3 million from a range of investors. Currently, the are in their second equity round, seeking $15 million – a funding round that is said to be verbally committed in full.

Asked if Fincross has any deals in the queue as their official launch is nearing and James said they currently have three groups that are in due diligence and in negotiation. Two of these firms are from the US and one is from Europe.

“That said, I’m also meeting with investors in Asia over the next 2 weeks as we have had tremendous interest here, so the round is a bit of a race at this stage.”

[Editors Note: the Crowded Media Group and Crowdfund Insider is a Media Partner for the forthcoming CIS and Security Token Summit which takes place on April 8th – 10th. The Security Token Summit is a high-end, Digital Securities focused event, held at The Ritz-Carlton – Los Angeles.]

Juncker Plan: €360 Million Investment for Spanish SMEs will Use Hyperledger Blockchain Tech

The European Commission (EC) recently announced a European investment plan designed to boost access to capital to Spanish SMEs and “midcap investment projects.” The plan is for the European Investment Bank Group and BBVA to provide €360 million for these smaller businesses. A €60 million “synthetic guarantee” will be used to aid the project. The plan is the first synthetic corporate loan securitization transaction in Spain by the EIB Group and BBVA and the first one said to be supported by blockchain technology.

This most recent agreement is being facilitated by the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI). The EFSI is described as a “central pillar” of the Investment Plan for Europe, dubbed the “Juncker Plan”. The goal is to provide financing to riskier firms (read early stage) and thus create jobs and boosting innovation and competitiveness.

The “Juncker Plan”, is said to be one of the EC’s top priorities. It focuses on boosting investment while removing obstacles to investment and providing visibility and technical assistance to investment projects.

The EU explains that blockchain “offers a better client experience by automating the negotiation process and minimizing operational risks, thanks to the inherent characteristics of this technology.”

The distributed ledger technology or “DLT” platform built by BBVA was used by the three parties to negotiate the agreement, from the origination to the agreement signing. The EU states that this ensured traceability and immutability. All the negotiation was recorded on the permissioned blockchain Hyperledger, while a hash or unique identifiers of the signed agreement were recorded on Ethereum.

European Commission Vice-President Jyrki Katainen, responsible for Jobs, Growth, Investment and Competitiveness, welcomed the agreement and the ability of Spanish SMEs to access needed capital for growth:

“They will join over 850,000 other small and medium-sized businesses who are already expected to benefit from the Investment Plan across Europe.”

Carlos Torres, CEO of BBVA, said that BBVA is committed to boosting the growth, competitiveness and digitization of the Spanish SMEs.

“In addition, we are proud of the DLT platform developed in-house by BBVA, which was used to negotiate this agreement.”

Hyperledger Adds Alibaba Cloud, Citi, Deutsche Telekom, we.trade, & 12 more New Members to Project

Hyperledger, an open source collaborative effort created to advance cross-industry blockchain technologies, announced on Wednesday that Alibaba Cloud, Citi, Deutsche Telekom, we.trade and 12 more organizations have joined the project. This news came during day one of the inaugural Hyperledger Global Forum, which took place in Basel, Switzerland.

Hyperledger describes itself as a multi-project, multi-stakeholder effort that includes multiple enterprise blockchain and distributed ledger technologies. These projects are the result of the hands-on, collaborative efforts of contributors around the world who strive to develop and maintain the code for the frameworks and tools as well as provide governance and organizational resources.

“Hyperledger enables organizations to build solid, industry-specific applications, platforms and hardware systems to support their individual business transactions by creating enterprise-grade, open source distributed ledger frameworks and code bases.”

The latest general members to join the community are the following:

  • Alibaba Cloud
  • BlockDao (Hangzhou) Information Technology
  • Citi
  • Deutsche Telekom
  • Guangzhishu (Beijing) Technology Co. Ltd
  • Guangzhou Technology Innovation Space Information Technology Co., Ltd
  • KEB Hana Bank
  • HealthVerity
  • MediConCen
  • Techrock (formerly Walimai)
  • we.trade
  • Xooa

Speaking about the additional members, Brian Behlendorf, Executive Director at Hyperledger, stated:

“The growing Hyperledger community reflects the increasing importance of open source efforts to build enterprise blockchain technologies across industries and markets. The latest members showcase the widening  interest in and impact of DLT and Hyperledger.”

Hyperledger added it supports an open community that values contributions and participation from various entities, including pre-approved non-profits, open source, projects and government entities can join the project at no cost as associate members. Associate members joining this month include Association of Blockchain Developers of Saint Petersburg, Business School of Hunan University, Sun Yat-sun University and Wall Street Blockchain Alliance.

KoreConX Announces Compliant Security Token Protocol

KoreConX, a platform to manage businesses capital market activity and stakeholder communications, has announced the “KoreToken Protocol” for securities tokens that said to be fully compliant throughout the lifecycle of the security.

Recognizing the market has not established a protocol that caters to the life cycle of a security token and corporate actions, KoreConX is now offering this service.  The company states that what the market has seen so far does not meet current regulatory requirements and issuers will run afoul with regulators if they do not change.

“A token, a digital asset, where I give you my money and you go off and make a venture, and in return for giving you my money I say ‘you can get a return’ that is a security and we regulate that,” SEC Chair Jay Clayton said. “We regulate the offering of that security and regulate the trading of that security.”

The KoreToken is said to be designed to keep investors not only safe from theft, forking, and transactional errors, but also keep them from violating the complex disclosure and reporting requirements in multiple jurisdictions. All of these capabilities are designed to identify and reduce the risk profile of tokenized securities.

KoreConX says their security token protocol goes beyond ID verification, AML, or investor verification. The issuer  – or their agent, such as a broker-dealer or transfer agent –  needs to account for jurisdiction, exemption, reporting, security token holder rights, custodianship, trading, reporting and corporate actions. This the only way a company can issue and manage a security token without transgressing existing law.

Dr. Kiran Garimella, chief scientist and Chief Technology Officer of KoreConX, believes most of the rebranding of utility tokens to adhere to securities law requirements is superficial.

“The fundamental issues of safety, security, and risk must be addressed,” said Garimella. “Moreover, these are not one-time problems. They exist throughout the life of the security. The technical infrastructure to make all this happen is non-trivial and calls for very serious, enterprise-class engineering.”

The company explains that security tokens that use the KoreToken protocol, including their own KoreToken, run on the KoreChain, which is a permissioned blockchain that is built on Hyperledger Fabric and hosted on IBM servers with the highest level of security.

KoreChain’s says it has built in AI technology will enable machine-learning and data-analytic services for transactions. Finally, KoreChain will use AI to augment its native governance, risk, and compliance capabilities.

India’s Kerala District Trying Several Types of Industry Blockchain

The Kerala Development and Innovation Strategic Council (K-DISC), an advisory board tasked with finding technological ways to enhance the economy in the southwestern coastal Indian state Karala, has undertaken two blockchain initiatives to streamline operation in food distribution and farm insurance, Business Standard reports.

The acronym-savvy organization is also administering an Accelerated Blockchain Competency Development (ABCD) program designed to prepare Kerala developers for job opportunities in blockchain-development at home and abroad,

The food distribution project will reportedly use radio frequency identification (RFID) tags to track circulation of milk, vegetables and fish through the state.

The comprehensive system, says Chairman of K-DISC, K M Abraham, “will ensure speedy delivery of high quality milk by continuously monitoring production, procurement and distribution through an electronic ledger.”

RFID tags bearing ID numbers will allow merchandise to be tracked along each step in a supply chain, Abraham said, and the whole system will be coordinated using the tags, the Internet of Things (IoT) and mobile applications designed to monitor such things as the movement of trucks and refrigerated tanks and the assurance of optimal temperatures.

Deliveries of vegetables and fish will also be coordinated in the system, whereby, “farms and fish-landing spots will be linked with packaging centres using geo-coded images,” in a system that will allow, “continuous monitoring and verification.”

The state of Kerala also hopes another blockchain system will, “make (Kerala’s) crop insurance scheme smarter and fool-proof,” presumably by using “oracles” (third party, potentially-automated sources of data) to fairly execute smart contracts used to govern crop-insurance settlement claims.

For example, oracles could trigger smart contracts to issue payments if they successfully source data on the internet that confirms the severity of weather events cited as responsible for crop losses.

Such a system, “would help avoid time-lag…” says Abraham.

K-DISC has the unenviable task of, “addressing decades of infrastructure deficit,” and many across the globe have looked to blockchain, which can be internet-based, to move infrastructure-like capacities into places with minimal grids.

IBM is currently testing a Hyperledger system that may allow cheaper administration of micro-loans to food distributers in Kenya.

It is unclear, however, why the two Indian systems would necessarily use a blockchain when they could simply use an encrypted database or distributed ledger that does not need to be laboriously settled over numerous computers.

One advantage of Bitcoin is that its ledger is tamperproof because all the data is expensively-sealed across the board in a game of competitive encryption. To change one piece of data in the transaction ledger, potentially millions of layers of encryption have to be hacked.

The Bitcoin system, so far, only works in a very specific and limited use-case, that is: two parties sending and receiving Bitcoins. Period.

Ethereum, a more complex and outright ambitious system, despite billions of infused capital and close to four years of development, is currently struggling to accommodate traffic on its network.

It is hard to see, then, how the involvement of multiple parties in a complex supply chain (sender of the fish, receiver of the fish, the many people in between affixing and scanning RFID tags) will not also stagger the blockchain trying to manage all that data.

Is blockchain settlement of all those pieces of data really necessary, or will an encrypted ledger do?

Time will tell.

IBM’s Microfinance Blockchain in Kenya Tests the Viability of Hyperledger

The Senior Vice President in charge of Platforms & Blockchain at IBM, Bridget van Kralingen, gave an inspiring talk in mid-May at the giant Consensus cryptocurrency and blockchain conference in New York.

She said she’d long held a dream making micro-finance more available in the developing world.

“Forty percent of the world’s population is unbanked,” she said. “The fastest way to get them out of poverty is to help them start a business.”

Kralingen said she’d worked on microfinance projects in the past, but administrative costs were too high, and the projects failed.

Now IBM is back supporting a microfinance project using a Hyperledger blockchain to help administer small loans at low interest to food sellers in Kenya.


A food-ditribution logistics firm in Kenya called “Twiga” wanted to induct more food stall proprietors into their logistics network by offering those businesses the perk of micro-loan services to help food sellers access more product.

It’s a win-win proposal, said the co-founder the $13 million Twiga start-up, Grant Brooke, when he spoke to a blogger at IBM.

“Previously, we were focused on helping farmers distribute bananas, tomatoes, onions and potatoes to 2,600 kiosks across Kenya, but we soon realized that we could help them sell even more produce with access to working capital. It’s simple, if the food vendors can sell more, we can distribute more, growing both of our businesses.”

IBM scientists also used data and machine learning from food stall operators’ cell phones to establish credit ratings for them.

“Once the credit score is determined, we used a blockchain, based on the Hyperledger Fabric, to manage the entire lending process from application to receiving offers to accepting the terms to repayment,” said Isaac Markus, a researcher working at IBM Research in Kenya.

IBM states that this Hyperledger private blockchain makes lending transparent and efficient. It not only allows permissioned partners (lenders and borrowers) to communicate privately, but also, “employ(s) a series of “smart contracts” which can be executed in real time, having the potential to significantly reduce the time it takes to manually process and issue a loan.”

IBM writes that an 8-week pilot of the project that ran last year was a success: 220 food kiosk proprietors received loans of around $30 that enabled them to increase their order sizes by 30%. Loans were repayable in 4 or 8 days at an interest rate of 1 or 2% respectively.

“All of the loans were executed via mobile phone…When a retailer had an order delivered, they would get an SMS with loan options for financing that order. They would then respond to the SMS confirming the loan option they preferred.”

Andrew Kinai, the lead software engineer on the project at IBM Research Kenya, reported, “The SMS-based solution provided an effective channel for a diverse set of users, some with limited IT literacy, to access financing for their orders.”

IBM states that it plans to expand the project to other small- and medium-sized businesses across Africa and into other sectors by the end of the year.

In the Americas, there has been a recent rise in skepticism regarding the viability of enterprise blockchain. Blockchain developers like Jimmy Song have proposed simpler forms of encrypted databases for enterprise that run at much lower cost.

Last December, Reuters reported from a document that, “More than 15 members of blockchain consortium Hyperledger have either cut their financial support for the project or quit the group over the past few months.”

According to Reuters, slides from a deck titled “member attrition” indicate that Hyperledger “premier” members Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) Group and Deutsche Boerse decided to downgrade their memberships to “general” starting January 2018.

Premier members at Hyperledge get a seat on the board and pay $250,000 for the privilege, said Reuters. General memberships go for between $5-50,000, depending on enterprise size.

“Blockchain consortium” R3 also downgraded their Hyperledger membership, and they themselves saw that departure of member firms JP Morgan Chase & Co, Goldman Sachs Group Inc, Banco Santander and others earlier in 2017.

“Banks and other large corporations have been investing hundreds of millions of dollars in developing blockchain technology in the hopes it can help them simplify their costly record-keeping processes,” wrote Reuters.

“Despite the excitement,” and huge sums dedicated, writes Reuters, “blockchain is not yet used to run any large scale projects.”

Japan Net Bank & Tech Bureau to Initiate POC Project to Evaluate Mijin and Hyperledger: Going Paperless

Fintech and cryptocurrency solutions company Tech Bureau noted that that Japan’s first online bank, Japan Net Bank, Limited is testing blockchain technology integrations using mijin and Hyperledger and has initiated a proof-of-concept project to evaluate to utilize the cryptocurrencies for paperless contract administration, scheduled to be completed end of March 2018.

Crowdfund Insider awaits comments from both parties.

The innovation will relieve Japan Net Bank’s cumbersome drafting process which  involves abundant back-and-forth of emails and paper documents during the agreement process. Such a process increases the opportunity for document falsification. By integrating blockchain technology, Japan Net Bank aims to create an unfalsifiable ledger of file views, edits, approvals, and rejections to massively improve contract drafting.

Through this proof-of-concept project, Japan Net Bank will create a link between mijin and Hyperledger, with data logged on both blockchains. If one blockchain fails, data will ideally remain secured and a system administrator can view the history of actions on either blockchain, thereby helping Japan Net Bank to evaluate scalability and security of deploying this technology.

[clickToTweet tweet=”#Japan_Net Bank tests #blockchain technology integrations using @mijin_io & #hyperledger #cryptocurrency” quote=”#Japan_Net Bank tests #blockchain technology integrations using @mijin_io & #hyperledger #cryptocurrency “]

Developed by Tech Bureau, mijin aims to meet versatile enterprise needs with its enhanced private blockchain utilizing Singapore-based NEM.io Foundation’s NEM protocol. The mijin blockchain was chosen for this proof-of-concept as it is suited to a wide range or applications, enables secure access and features a user-friendly back-end. mijin also encrypts hashes and user signatures, affixing a time stamp that is accurate down to the second for each transaction and coded into the blockchain.

 

 

Global Debt Registry Demos Blockchain Proof of Concept

Global Debt Registry (GDR), an “asset certainty company”, has developed a “collateral pledge registry”, using Hyperledger Fabric, one of the Hyperledger Blockchain framework implementations hosted by The Linux Foundation. GDR is a Fintech company that provides solutions for institutional investors and warehouse lenders in the credit markets. GDR’s tools help both investors and warehouse lenders better manage risks associated with lending facilities and enables lenders to attract more permanent capital.

This is GDR’s second phase in its Blockchain development following the announcement of their first Blockchain POC earlier this year. This blockchain proof of concept supports the end-to-end assignment and release of pledge positions in the structured credit space.

“We are dedicated to driving confidence for investors and senior lenders in these lending markets and, with this proof of concept — the inaugural blockchain application of its kind — we are using the latest technology to ensure collateral is better protected,” said Charlie Moore, President, GDR. “With a blockchain-supported decentralized ledger, the lending ecosystem will be able to rely on a permissioned single, shared view of the truth. This level of asset certainty in turn helps to fuel capital investment and industry growth.”

As an Innovation Spotlight presenter, GDR presented the Blockchain POC demo at the Wall Street Blockchain Alliance’s Blockchain for Wall Street event this week.GDR’s Chief Product & Operation Officer, Todd Veale, demonstrated to approximately 300 attendees from investment banks, law firms and service providers.

Robert Brown, Chief Technology Officer for GDR, said collaborating with the Blockchain community was an exciting event for them as they are building the future of risk management infrastructure for the capital markets;

“At this week’s event, we had the opportunity to unveil our blockchain-based proof of concept and to engage with pioneers from across the capital markets. Blockchain is playing an exciting role in delivering decentralized infrastructure to support improved trust and efficiency in the markets.”

 

 

Blockchain Program Hyperledger Announces Ten New Members

Hyperledger Project, a collaborative cross-industry effort created to advance blockchain technology, announced on Tuesday it has gained ten new members. Hyperledger notably incubates eight business blockchain and distributed ledger technologies including Hyperledger Fabric, Hyperledger Iroha, Hyperledger Indy, Hyperledger Burrow, Hyperledger Sawtooth, among others. Speaking about the new members, Brian Behlendorf, Executive Director of Hyperledger stated:

“The immense growth we’ve seen this year signifies an acceptance and understanding of Hyperledger blockchain solutions for business. These new diverse members have agreed to contribute their leadership and energy to the Hyperledger community. We thank them for their support and validation as we drive towards more PoCs, pilots and production uses cases of Hyperledger technologies in the enterprise.”

The new members include AMIHAN, ChongQin Xichain Technologies, DLT Labs, GameCredits, Gibraltar Stock Exchange (GSX), Medicalchain, and ScanTrust. Hyperledger’s organizers note that the program aims to enable organizations to build robust, industry-specific applications, platforms, and hardware systems to support their individual business transactions by creating an enterprise-grade, open source distributed ledger framework and code base. It is also described as a global collaboration including leaders in finance, banking, IoT, supply chain, manufacturing, and technology.

“Hyperledger supports an open community that values contributions and participation from various entities. As such, pre-approved non-profits, open source projects and government entities can join Hyperledger at no cost as Associate members. Several Associate members joined this month including Mercy Corps, Taiwan Fintech Association and Zhejiang University.”

To see the full list of members, click here.

Catching Up with Michael Koenitzer of Global Debt Registry: Shedding Light on Loan Validation, Blockchain, Regulations & Future of Fintech

Last month Michael Koenitzer joined Global Debt Registry (GDR) as its Director of Business Development in the new New York office.  Since joining the GDR team he has focused on building and supporting customer relationships with key investor accounts and senior lenders.

Koenitzer joined GDR with decades of experience in structured finance including senior roles at Credit Suisse, National Australia Bank and the World Economic Forum focusing on various sectors including Structured Finance, Commercial and Investment Banking, Consulting and Project Management.

The asset certainty company specializes in loan validation and leads Fintech innovation, including the recently developed a multi-party blockchain proof of concept (POC) designed specifically for the online lending industry. The nascent blockchain POC aims to provide investors and senior online lenders with a secure loan ownership and collateral interests across companies within the financial ecosystem.

I recently had the pleasure to catch up with Koenitzer via email to learn more about his new role at GDR, Fintech innovation and disruption, effective regulation and summer reading suggestions. Our interview follows:

Erin: What challenges are you facing? What challenges is the sector facing?

Mike Koenitzer: Initially the industry was focused on the movement – bringing the concept of virtual lending into reality. We’ve achieved that now, and so we’re entering the next phase of growth which requires a robust and reliable infrastructure – a backend that can meet the levels of scalability that will allow the industry to grow substantially with increased liquidity from the capital markets.

Erin: How would you describe the shift between your past employers — Credit Suisse, BlackRock and the World Economic Forum — to GDR?  How will traditional banks adjust to this potential diaspora and preference for fintech?

Mike: I spent 20 years at Credit Suisse in structured finance where I closed several new asset class transactions. This taught me how to think about and find a solution for something that was never done before.  At the World Economic Forum I had the opportunity to sit in a meeting in Davos with 65 financial services CEOs discussing how the fintech world was changing their industry and how to react to this new situation. I also spent time on writing a white paper on how fintech can help bridge the funding gap for SMEs.  So it became a natural progression to join GDR where I could bring my fintech, credit and securitization experience to help develop products, which provide more certainty and increased liquidity to the online lending space.

Erin: How is GDR optimising the demand for its loan level diligence solutions?  How does the platform source partnerships?

Mike: Most online loans underwriting already undergoes some form of validation. Up until recently, however, most of the industry has relied on manual document validation — it’s taken awhile for the industry to wake up to digital data validation. That’s where we come in – we offer a more efficient and a trusted method of validation than what’s been used in the lending space in the past.

In terms of sourcing partnerships, we’ve really been led by what data fields our clients want independently validated – that’s shaped the data partner strategy more than anything. Capital markets are a new space for many of our data partners, so we’re essentially providing them with a new and exciting distribution channel.

Erin: How does GDR stay abreast of fintech innovation and disruption?  Have you partnered with any incubators? Please share your process.

Mike: We’re headquartered at 335 Madison in an office space that is essentially a FinTech hotbed of early stage companies, so we’re collaborating and involved in conversations around advancing the industry on a daily basis. We also keep our finger on the pulse – and help shape the evolution of the space – by attending and hosting industry events including Meetup conversations, panels and broader industry conferences mostly in New York and San Francisco – the hubs of FinTech innovation.

Erin: Leveraging blockchain technology is becoming integral in fintech.  Please describe GDR’s new multi-party blockchain proof of concept (POC) that is designed specifically for the online lending industry. What initial issues did/do you face and how did/do you and your team resolve them?

Mike: We see blockchain as perfectly suited to the online lending space and more specifically, the set of solutions we offer our clients, because it offers a single source of data that enables clients to access an immutable audit trail. They can see the state of a given loan across its entire lifetime and that builds confidence and trust.  The more certainty investors have, the more likely they are to invest capital in the online lending space.

That said, blockchain technology is still in very early stages – we’re working toward production services, but we need to see what technology platforms will gain traction across our client base.  Right now, that means maintaining a watchful brief as to which platforms are adopted among the banks.

Erin: How do you hope and/or anticipate the lending sector will be regulated? What suggestions do you have?  Which components do you think are essential to effective regulation?

Mike: Regulation has always been an important topic, but since the crisis, the regulation pendulum has swung quite heavily toward more stringent regulation.  The real question is around how much or how little regulation will the space see in order to operate effectively. Effective regulation really centers on a healthy balance of oversight and encouraging continued and active growth in the space.

Erin: Why did you select Hyperledger, Ethereum and Chain as partners in GDR’s blockchain venture?

Mike: Both, Hyperledger and Ethereum are working on several projects in the financial services space with our clients and partners, so they were a logical choice in our selection.  We continue to assess different opportunities as we progress with our different blockchain initiatives.

Erin: Distributed ledger technology is another key fintech innovation. Why has GDR initiated partnerships with the Wall Street Blockchain Alliance and Structured Finance Industry Group (SFIG) Blockchain Task Force for its strategy development?

Mike: Both organizations are naturally aligned with our role in shaping the broader conversation around blockchain adoption and what this technology can do for the online lending sector specifically. Through the Wall Street Blockchain Alliance, we’re connecting with many of the banks we’ve been working with through our portfolio of loan validation tools, and with SFIG, we’re sharing and developing best practices around securitizing those loans, working with the underwriters.

Erin: In which other areas is GDR venturing? Where do you see the platform in 3 years? in 5 years?

Mike: As we continue to grow our online consumer loan validation services, we have ventured into building our capabilities to validate small business loans in the online lending space. Today, we can scale our platform over different asset classes as we build partnerships across those classes at our clients demand, including with data partners to validate that growing number of asset classes.

Erin: How do you see marketplace lending evolving overall?

Mike: The space is going to continue growing, but it is also going to consolidate as any industry does during the process of maturation. I also think that there will also be a reality check on how well the online lending platforms underwrote the loans and what was missed if anything in the underwriting process.  We have seen and I think we will continue to see a shift from rivalry to increased cooperation and joint ventures between traditional banks and online lenders.

Erin: What’s on your summer reading list?  Which personally influential books do you recommend for CI readers and why?

Mike: More than any specific book, it’s essential to stay on top of what’s going on in the online lending space by reading about what’s happening everyday –  it’s a quickly changing FinTech world so I love aggregators that share info on new platforms and emerging players as well as social media. As for a book, I will give you two:  The Fintech Book which was written in collaboration of experts and thought leaders in the Fintech space which reviews the financial technology revolution, and the disruption, innovation and opportunity therein and The Fourth Industrial Revolution by Klaus Schwab, which explores how the way we live is getting changed fundamentally by technology.

Cecabank & Grant Thornton Establish Spanish Blockchain Consortium

A new Spanish blockchain consortium spearheaded by Cecabank and professional services firm Grant Thornton is aiming to build tools designed to combat money laundering and boost KYC (know your customer) efforts. Without “naming names,” the partners claim that the consortium already comprises 33% of the Spanish banking sector and that it will lay the groundwork for the real-world use of blockchain technology in the financial services sector.

“The new consortium will provide us with a privileged position on the market, since we will be the first in effect to work with this technology, in a cross-sectoral and multidisciplinary environment,” commented Cecabank Head of Reporting, Operational Management and Banking Training Services Jaime Manzano. “Employees of all our functional areas are not only going to gain an in-depth understanding of the technology, but also of all the new features that arise, which is indispensable, considering the momentum for constant progress maintained by blockchain.”

Using Ethereum and Hyperledger the group is moving to build a KYC recognition system based on DLT, enabling members to digitally identify customers, as well as improve AML efficiency. Other proof-of-concepts are set to follow, with a focus on streamlining current processes and developing new business models.

Cecabank wants to create a collaborative environment among Spain’s banks for the development of blockchain, where firms can test their latest discoveries, as well as those still in the proof-of-concept phase and assess their future viability in each of their businesses.

 

Smart Dubai: Implementing Blockchain Across the City, Emirates NBD on Board

Dubai’s pioneering government-backed initiative to implement blockchain technology across the city is now into its third month, and the pilot schemes continue to roll out. The move aims  to secure the city’s reputation as a leading Middle Eastern business center. This month Dubai’s largest bank, Emirates NBD, announced the introduction of blockchain technology into cheques — Cheque Chain — as an aid to reduce fraud and increase ease of verification, according to the release.

Emirates NBD, a major early investor in blockchain, partnered in February with IBM and other Dubai entities to explore the use of the technology for trade finance and logistics. Trade is Dubai’s biggest business, with non-oil foreign trade in the emirate totalling around $348 billion in 2016.

“The aim is to replace paper-based contracts with smart contracts that will help reduce complex documentation for the tracking, shipping and movement of goods,” explained Emirates NBD Group CIO Ali Sajwani to The Wall Street Journal.

In April a partnership between the government’s Smart Dubai office – the executive arm of strategic overseer The Dubai Future Foundation – and Avanza Solutions, a FinTech consulting and development firm created the payments platform, Cipher, a proprietary blockchain, to be rolled out in all of Smart Dubai’s 38 partner government entities, partner financial institutions and departments. Cipher aims to offer the capability of adapting to both public and permissioned blockchain networks via the implementation of smart contracts through the open-source hyperledger and public blockchain Ethereum platforms

Through Smart Dubai, the government is seeking to move of all its government documents, comprising more than 100 million per year, into a blockchain. The goal is to offer government services on interoperable blockchains and create a cohesive ecosystem that could massively increase efficiency.

“We want to make Dubai the first blockchain-powered government in the world by 2020,” Smart Dubai Director General Aisha Bin Bishr told the Khaleej Times. “It is disruptive for existing systems, but will help us prepare for the future… We have a very clear objective to make Dubai the capital of the blockchain industry.”

According to the release, Smart Dubai, the government office tasked with facilitating innovation in the city, launched the citywide effort to implement blockchain technology in March. Smart Dubai’s role is to conduct workshops with key government, semi-government and private organizations to determine the services that most benefit from blockchain technology, and also to educate public and private sectors about its potential. Additionally, Smart Dubai plans to create a shared platform, Blockchain as a Service, for Dubai government entities to use in their projects.

The Dubai Blockchain Strategy is developed and executed in partnership with the research organization The Dubai Future Foundation, founder of the Global Blockchain Council, a group that includes 42 government entities and private companies, investigating the best applications in blockchain technologies. The strategy includes, along with improving government efficiency, the additional objectives of industry creation and international leadership.