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Blockchain This Week: Inc42 Launches Blockchain Report 2018, Pi Ventures Raises $6 Mn, And More

Blockchain This Week: Inc42 Launches Blockchain Report 2018, Pi Ventures Raises $6 Mn, And More

The Inc42 Blockchain Technology Report 2018 demystifies blockchain and explores its vast scope of applications, specifically in India

Seven Stars Cloud Group to raise $24 Bn for electric bus upgrades in China

Ripple wants to target China with its blockchain technology, designed to speed up cross-border payments

Telecom companies are finally responding to the call of blockchain and exploring its uses in the domain. Blockchain-based identity-as-a-service can be introduced during customer identification and help improve customer service, says a new IBM Institute for Business Value (IBV) report, ‘Reimagining Telecommunications with Blockchains’.

The report surveyed more than one-third of the 174 global communications service providers (CSP), who said they were considering or were actively using the high-tech ledger to support their enterprise strategies, including data quality and accuracy, faster and more reliable transactions, and improved security.

The technology can help open up new revenue streams for telecom companies, it says. Even agreements stored on this technology can be executed automatically as part of transactions. It can also help cut costs, safeguard data, increase trust, and protect against tampering, among others.

Another report by the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) said that commodity firms and banks have been diving into blockchain pilot schemes over the last two years, but the new technology’s application for most trading has likely been over-hyped.

“There are so many pilot schemes but none have become real production scale systems yet. One of the problems is that it’s not designed for physical trade. The fundamental issue: how do you track a physical entity in a virtual world? It’s two worlds colliding,” Antti Belt, co-author of the BCG report, said.

The report further states that the use of this ledger technology will create a more efficient and liquid market, moving commodity trading away from bilateral deals struck directly between two parties to transactions based on electronic platforms to match buyers and sellers.

With there being so much of a buzz around blockchain, Inc42 has launched the Blockchain Technology Report 2018 recently to demystify the hottest technology of the moment. The report, apart from explaining in detail what is blockchain, its types, how it is different from cryptocurrencies, explores various use cases of this high-tech ledger technology across sectors. It also aims to addresses blockchain’s vast scope of applications, specifically exploring opportunities for it in India.

Download The Blockchain Report Now

Here’s a curated rundown of important and related developments on blockchain frameworks [August 15-21].

Let’s take a look at this week’s block!

Important Developments In Indian Blockchain Ecosystem This Week

Inc42’s Blockchain Technology Report 2018: Demystifying The Hottest Technology Of The Moment

Inc42 has launched the Blockchain Technology Report 2018, an in-depth study of the current state and future trends of the high-tech ledger technology in India. The report delves deep to decode blockchain and its frameworks, discussing its features, and brings in the classic case study of Telegram. It aims to clarify the difference between blockchain and cryptocurrencies for readers with limited or no knowledge about the technology.

The report also elucidates the current ongoing applications and adaptation of this technology across the world and in India, exploring the various initiatives taken by governments the world over to incorporate the technology to bring more visibility into governance.

It talks about the various projects being implemented by Indian government think-tank Niti Aayog and state governments to digitise land records and exam certification using a blockchain called IndiaChain. It also discusses the vast scope of application of blockchain across industries, specifically exploring opportunities in India.

Pi Ventures Raises $6 Mn, To Focus On Blockchain Investment

Artificial intelligence (AI) and IoT-focussed early stage venture fund pi Ventures has raised $6 Mn from the CDC Group, the development finance institution of the UK Government.

“While the fund will continue to invest in AI and IoT startups, it will also look at blockchain and will announce an investment soon,” pi Ventures founding partner Manish Singhal said.

While the startup had initially targeted to close the funding at $30 Mn, it will now close it at a higher number, as it has already raised $31 Mn so far, according to Singhal. The company earlier marked its second close in January this year at $25 Mn; the fund is expected to announce its final close shortly, according to an ET report.

Conduent Appoints Nikhil Nayab To Head Blockchain Division

US-headquartered Conduent Inc, a business process services company, has appointed Nikhil Nayab to lead the company’s blockchain initiatives. Nayab has 20 years of experience in the financial services industry, including a blockchain focus for the last five years.

Nayab joins Conduent from Accenture, where he helped build the company’s North American high-tech ledger practice. He also has broad experience at blockchain startups and banks such as Citi and Credit Suisse.

Conduent is working on digitising all interactions, making them personalised and secure. It is also adding 300 positions — 100 in the US and 200 in India — as it continues to focus on digital interactions, including blockchain development.

Conduent president Dave Amoriell said, “Nayab will lead an approach to blockchain development that is flexible and infrastructure agnostic. Its development will be done in an open environment to promote quicker, widespread adoption and foster inclusive innovation.”

Blockchain Developments From Around The World

South Korean City Partners With Swytch To Reduce Carbon Emissions

US-based blockchain-driven clean energy company Swytch has signed a deal with the city of Chuncheon, capital of the Gangwon Province in South Korea, to reduce carbon emissions in the city.

Under the partnership, Swytch and the city of Chuncheon have agreed to deploy sustainable alternatives to traditional energy sources by developing and adopting solar energy and implementing the Swytch network.

“This partnership aims to address energy shortages while incentivising infrastructure development in a city that is ready to decrease its dependence on fossil fuels,” Youngsook Park, vice president of Swytch in South Korea, said.

Swytch enables renewable energy investments to shift to areas that will have the biggest impact on carbon reduction, creating a more fluid energy market. Its platform tracks and verifies the carbon impact of renewable energy generation and other sustainable actions.

HashCash to Help Founders In Small Countries Adopt Blockchain

California-based HashCash, which specialises in creating blockchain-powered banking services and products, is collaborating with entrepreneurs from small nations to help them set up blockchain-enabled businesses in their countries.

HashCash’s expertise in cryptocurrency trade and exchange, cross-border remittances, and white label products, among others, has made it a go-to name for enterprises seeking top-of-the-line solutions suited to their industry. The company enables enterprises to move assets and settle payments across borders in real-time using blockchain.

The company has gained fame for its successful collaborations with regulators and prominent corporates in the US, the UAE, India, Philippines, Luxembourg, and Malta, among others. HashCash has aided its clients in effectively managing and evolving in new markets.

Ripple Targets China With Its Blockchain-Based Payment Tech

Ripple wants to target the Chinese market with its blockchain technology designed to speed up cross-border payments, according to an executive at the firm.  Ripple a real-time gross settlement system (RTGS), currency exchange, and remittance network created by the Ripple company.

“China is definitely of interest, it is definitely a target,” Jeremy Light, vice president of European Union strategic accounts at Ripple, said.

Elsewhere in Asia, Ripple has created an app called Money Tap in Japan, in partnership with 61 domestic lenders. The app is designed to enable banks to settle round-the-clock payments in the country.

Ripple is mostly known for its digital token, which is used to bridge payments from one currency to another.

Seven Stars Cloud Group to Raise $24 Bn for Electric Bus Upgrades in China

Blockchain and AI technology company Seven Stars Cloud Group has sealed a major deal to raise $24 Bn to fund large-scale electric bus upgrades for China’s biggest full-service operator.

Under an exclusive contract made with the National Transportation Capacity Co Ltd (NTS), Seven Stars Cloud will issue fixed-income, lease financing-based products through its regulatory complaint blockchain ecosystem, including a campaign based in China and another open to the global markets.

The NTS is China’s largest full-service operator of electric buses. It also offers sales, lease financing, a charging station network, and real-time data services.

Seven Stars Cloud plans to raise an estimated of $8.75 Bn and $15 Bn through the China-based and international funding campaigns, respectively. It will raise the funds over a three-year time period.

[Stay tuned for next edition of Blockchain This Week]