Banks conduct cross-border​ trades on we.trade blockchain platform

Screen Shot 2018-07-03 at 20.55.26We.trade, IBM’s hyperledger based platform for trade finance has conducted a series of cross-border trade on its platform. The platform enabled 7 trade transactions which were completed by 10 companies across 5 platforms. Blockchain’s shared ledger property has always been considered disruptive for the existing trade finance system and we.trade success has proved it’s future potential in the trade finance segment.

According to Robert Mancone, Chief Operating Officer, we.trade:

“The we.trade platform is a live, blockchain based trade platform. These transactions prove that we.trade is a robust and commercially viable proposition. We are delighted to have launched for the first time in the world, a blockchain based platform that enhances the overall customer experience, when trading internationally. The next step will be getting buy-in from additional banks and their customers in Europe and further afield”

We.trade was established by Deutsche Bank, HSBC, KBC, Natixis, Nordea, Rabobank, Santander, Societe Generale and UniCredit to streamline the cross-border trade. It is presently available across eleven European countries with further expansion planned in Europe as well as globally.

According to an article by finextra, Fluid Pumps used the platform to complete an open account transaction with a customer in Finland, GPS Food Group completed an intercompany transaction that included the use of a Bank Payment Undertaking and also executed two open account transactions with Paragon Quality Foods.

 

Coinbase custody is open for business now

custody.pngCoinbase has officially launched its custody service for institutional clients. Due to the digital nature of the crypto assets, a specialized service for storing them safely was in demand, and Coinbase move in custody service is supposed to fill this gap. According to Sam Mcingvale product lead “Coinbase Custody is a combination of Coinbase’s battle-tested cold storage for crypto assets, an institutional-grade broker-dealer and its reporting services, and a comprehensive client coverage program.”

Coinbase says that its custody service will have unique features like “On-chain segregation of crypto assets,” “offline,multi-sig and geographically distributed transaction protection” besides having a robust cold storage, auditing, and reporting.

Coinbase has already been a custodian of $ 20 billion worth of crypto assets in the past six years, and this custody offering will be secured through SEC and FINRA regulated Electronic transaction clearing.

The service as of now will be limited to Europe and US and is expected to arrive in Asia before the end of this year. The currency available will be similar to the ones offered through coinbase.com, and more coins will be added, so expect ethereum classic to arrive as soon as it is available for trading through coinbase.com.

Features like hot wallets, scheduled withdrawals will also be added after obtaining regulatory clearance

The service as of now requires a minimum of $10 million worth of digital assets and a $100,000 initiation fees. According to coinbase around $10 billion worth of institutional money waiting on the sidelines will enter in the crypto market due to the introduction of this service.

Coinbase has been quite active recently in terms of launching services. It recently started an index fund last month for “US-accredited” investors and has revealed plans to open its service for Japanese investors.

Walmart files a ​patent for obtaining a medical record stored on a blockchain from a wearable device

 

Imagine a situation where the patient is unconscious, and thus the paramedics are unable to figure out the immediate recourse to be taken.

As of now, the patient is taken to the hospital ASAP, and then the medical practitioners use their experience to figure out the problem. But it’s already 9 years since bitcoin have existed, and the property of its underlying tech “blockchain,” i.e., immutability and security has been used by Wal Mart to file a US patent, where the medical history of the patient can be accessed via a wearable device even if the patient is unconscious.

As our readers are aware that to read any information in the blockchain a person would require a private key and a public key. To circumvent the patient’s inability to provide private key during the time of unconsciousness, Wal-mart has proposed to use at least one of the fingerprint, an iris, a retina, or a facial feature as input to reveal private key.

This input can be scanned via a biometric device, and the proof of access will be stored in the blockchain so that the patient is aware that his medical record has been accessed.

This is, of course, a patent application and to expect such product shortly would be tough as the technology is still immature for such complex applications. For instance what kind of consensus protocol be used or should it be public or private or a consortium blockchain.

Overstock generating between $68,000 and $120,000 a week in cryptocurrency revenues

jj.jpgJonathan Johnson, former chairman of Overstock.com, revealed that Overstock was generating around 0.2 per cent of revenues through cryptocurrencies. Utah based Overstock was one of the first major e-commerce players enabling crypto payments for its online shoppers. The incentive for enabling crypto payments is best described by its former chairman:

“We pay a processing fee for credit cards, and we employ about 40 people in our fraud department. That’s a cost of doing business with credit cards. When we take cryptocurrency, we have a very small transaction fee with Coinbase, much smaller than our credit card processing fee, and we have no fraud prevention department. It’s like a cash transaction. For us, that is a much cheaper way of doing business.”

Johnson also serves as a president of Medici ventures, an investment arm of overstock, which has funded companies like tZero, Factom and Desoto.

 

Swiss city Zug to conduct its first blockchain based voting

Zug which is home to much high profile blockchain based companies (Shapeshift, Lisk etc.), thanks to its tax-free policy for crypto investors, will be conducting its first blockchain based consultative vote in two weeks time. The voting will be mobile based and done through the issued blockchain based digital id which was introduced on 15 November 2017. Since this vote is for consultative purpose thus the voting is not legally binding like referendums.

The following questions await the voters:

1. Do you think it’s good that a fireworks display lights up every year at the Zuger Seefest? (Yes / No)

2. Do you experience the process of voting with Digital ID as simple? (Yes / No)

3. Currently various applications of the digital ID are being evaluated. Which of the following applications would you like to pursue? (one answer possible):
a) Lending books in the library using a digital ID
b) Payment of parking fees by digital ID or entrance / exit in urban parking garages
c) Borrowing city bikes to different places in the city
d) Connection to ZUG-LOGIN or submission of the electronic tax return
e) Regular referendums

Blockchain voting has been gaining traction recently, for instance, Santander used this tech for voting by its shareholder’s in AGM held in May, and Sierra Leone held its first presidential election on March 7.

However, a blockchain based election should be treaded with cautioun as the technology is still in its infancy and thus should be avoided where the risk of this tech going wrong can be huge especially in scenarios of national importance.