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Blockchain This Week: Government-Backed Blockchain Event, Zebi’s Element42 Acquisition And More

Blockchain This Week: Government-Backed Blockchain Event, Zebi’s Element42 Acquisition And More

Zebi acqui-hires element42 to scale its blockchain engineering team

IBM working with agritech startups to pilot to new blockchain inventions

Germany has started consultation with industry to tap blockchain potential

What makes blockchain so interesting? well according to legal scholars Primavera De Filippi and Aaron Wright, who in a recent interview with the New York Times said that since the technology is decentralised, it cannot be dominated by a single power.

“Because it is tamper resistant, it cannot be used fraudulently. Because the information it stores is distributed to every node in the network, it is resilient in the face of damage or destruction. These qualities make the technology especially valuable,”said Filippi and  Wright

However, there are many cases where the government can target to influence how blockchains are run. For instance, the Indian government backs the technology behind cryptocurrency, which is blockchain, but it has always hardened its stance over cryptocurrency after many cases of fraud and money laundering was reported in the distributed ledger.

To fight the same, Union Home minister Rajnath Singh on Monday (February 18) inaugurated a national cyber forensic lab for Delhi Police, of which one of its units will have Cryptocurrency Forensics Lab. The initiative is aimed to better equip the country in the fight against cybercrime.

Come Friday (February 22), India government-backed two-day blockchain summit is all set to discuss on two main agendas — “building a strong blockchain ecosystem across the country”, and “establishing crypto policies for digital India”.

At the ‘Blockcahin Summit 2019’, top government ministers and industry stakeholders are expected to participate in the event being held at IIML Noida Campus in Delhi-NCR.

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

IBM Identifies Innovations Using Blockchain, AI For Food Supply Chain

IBM has listed five innovations that use blockchain, AI and IoT technologies for empowering country’s food supply chain, from improving farm productivity, prevent waste, detect bad bacteria in food to detecting diluted products. The technology, devised at IBM’s India lab, is already being piloted in collaboration with startups such as Agrostar, a Pune-based agritech startup that provides data analytics and agronomy expertise with real-time solutions.

“We do not have the feet-on-street that can get us to the farmers directly but we can work with startups that can help us reach that market.” IBM Research vice-president and India Labs head Sriram Raghavan said.

Zebi Acqui-hires Blockchain Startup Element42

Hyderabad-based blockchain startup Zebi has acqui-hired Bengaluru-headquartered blockchain startup Element42, as it gears to strengthen its blockchain engineering talent to add new products and customers.

Element42 leverages blockchain technology and offers protection against fraud risk management across industry segments. The startup was among the top-50 startups in the Deloitte Tech Fast 50 India 2018.

“With the combined resources, we are looking forward to developing many more innovative products targeting telecommunications, BFSI and logistics industries,” Zebi cofounder Sudheer Kuppam said.

Infibeam To Build Blockchain-Enabled Fintech Platform

Ecommerce company Infibeam Avenues is planning to invest INR 250 Cr ($35.1 Mn) to build a blockchain-enabled fintech platform to serve BFSI, SMBs, and corporates. The technology will use cloud-based Tier-3 Datacenter to provide real-time high-speed data computing and storage, with no downtime. The fund will be drawn from the proceed of its IPO.

“With the data localisation law coming in, we have an opportunity to provide to others our facilities as demand surges,” ET reported, citing Infibeam Avenues CMD Vishal Mehta.

In 2016, the company had also invested INR 250 crore to purchase 16 floors in Gandhinagar’s GIFT city tower — to build a cloud data centre and technologies capabilities.

Germany Opens Consultation To Tap Blockchain Potential

Germany has opened a consultation process to explore the potential of blockchain technology across sectors such as cars, pharmaceuticals, energy and public sector administration. According to Reuters, citing official sources, companies and industry groups that could become stakeholders in a blockchain deployment process in Europe’s biggest economy were invited to share recommendations from this week onwards.

Few major economies worldwide have crafted comprehensive strategies on how to nurture blockchain startups. Some, including Britain and Singapore, have given such firms limited freedom to experiment with innovative blockchain applications in the financial sector.