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Blockchain This Week: A VC Weighs In On Blockchain, Indian Banks Unite And More

Blockchain This Week: A VC Weighs In On Blockchain, Indian Banks Unite And More

11 Indian banks will launch India's first blockchain linked funding scheme

Swift CEO announces tie-up with blockchain start-up R3

Italian postal service joins hyperledger blockchain community

Just about every tech executive is now considering blockchain technology and its use in their industry. Blockchain’s ability to enable secure and efficient transactions has caught the attention of both multi-national corporations and governments.

However, despite many proof-of-concepts and identified use cases, we are still to see rapid adoption of the technology by enterprises. So what gives?

Weighing in on the slow uptake of blockchain, Matrix Partners India MD, Avnish Bajaj, opined  that while there are elements of the technology that he truly believes in, but in India its a “solution looking for a problem.”

A self-confessed ‘products person’, Bajaj said  at a discussion held at the Common Room, Delhi, that “Its (blockchain) is a platform that needs to be sold in the enterprise way. That is a very long sale cycle. I think it will play out over a long period of time.”

(Matrix Partners has an investment in a Mumbai-based blockchain company called Elemential.)

This could be one of the underlying reasons for blockchain’s slow integration into mainstream businesses. In fact according to a December, 2018 forecast by the consultancy company Capgemini, the technology will only be suitable for mass application by 2025, especially in the area of digital supply chains.

With that here are the latest developments in the blockchain world this week:

11 Big Indian Banks To Launch Blockchain-Linked Funding Network

A group of 11 big banks will reportedly launch India’s first blockchain linked funding for small and medium enterprises (SMEs), a move which may bring about a drastic change to lending practices.

A consortium called the Blockchain Infrastructure Company (BIC) is mediating this discussion between the participating banks, which include ICICI Bank, State Bank of India, Kotak Mahindra Bank, HDFC Bank, Axis Bank, RBL Bank, an ET report said.

Through this network, banks will be able to access public credit data and assess risk. It will also make the lending process transparent.

Fujitsu Tests Blockchain Solution To For Electricity-Sharing System

Japanese IT major, Fujitsu, has partnered with a power distribution company ENERES to use blockchain to make a power sharing system, through a process known as Demand Response (DR).

DR is a scheme in which electric utilities and consumers of electricity cooperate to control the amount of electricity used during periods of expected peak demand. Using a blockchain-based solution has demonstrably improved efficiencies, Fujitsu said in a press release.

Italian Postal Service Joins Hyperledger Blockchain Community

The Italian postal service provider, Poste Italiane, has joined the Hyperledger blockchain community.

Poste Italiane said in a press release that the decision to join Hyperledger is because  blockchain technology is “an effective response to the problems of security, transparency, interoperability and privacy.”

American courier delivery services giant FedEx joined hyperledger in September 2018.

Banking Service Swift Ties-up With R3

Swift, the financial messaging service for the world’s biggest banks, is partnering with blockchain start-up R3.

“We are announcing later today a proof-of-concept with the R3 blockchain on trade where you can initiate a payment on the trade platform and then it goes into GPI,” Gottfried Leibbrandt, Swift’s chief executive, said at a CNBC-moderated panel session at the Paris Fintech Forum on Wednesday.

Founded in 2014, R3 leads a consortium of major financial institutions and is aimed at bridging the gap between blockchain technology and the banking industry.