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Blockchain This Week: Maharashtra Concludes Blockchain Pilot With Four PoCs, And More

Blockchain This Week: Maharashtra Concludes Blockchain Pilot With Four PoCs, And More

First Blockchain phone, HTC Exodus 1 has been launched

China's internet censor releases country’s first draft regulation for blockchain startups

Gates Foundation, Ripple, Coil partner for blockchain interledger

The IT sector of India is evolving at a rapid pace with the influx of new technologies like blockchain, artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), cloud, analytics, and Internet of Things (IoT). These technologies are expected to boost the IT staffing industry by creating new jobs.

Meanwhile, Maharashtra has just concluded its blockchain pilot study with four blockchain Proof of Concepts (PoCs) that tracks organ transplants, rationing, land records, and digital certification.

The state government started the pilot in early 2018 with few shortlisted private startups to create PoCs, of which four were selected, with the projects to be implemented soon.

When the detailed reports are ready, the concepts will be applied to day-to-day government functions in India, said a report.

Here’s a curated rundown of important and related developments on Blockchain Ecosystem.  [October 17 – 23]

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

Important Developments In The Indian Blockchain Ecosystem

Infosys Finacle, R3 Partner To Bring Blockchain Solutions On Corda For Banks

Infosys Finacle, a fully owned product subsidiary of Infosys, has partnered with enterprise blockchain software company — R3 — to collaborate on blockchain solutions for banks. This partnership will enable banks to easily access and deploy Finacle’s blockchain solutions on Corda developed by R3.

Finacle will now have two solutions available on the Corda platform: Finacle Trade Connect, that connects banks, trade partners and corporates on a unified distributed network; and Finacle Payments Connect, which enables real-time payments processing on a permissioned payments network.

Blockchain Phone HTC Exodus 1 Launched

Taiwan electronics company HTC has launched HTC Exodus 1 touted as world’s first blockchain-based phone, which is currently available in select markets like the US, Hong Kong, New Zealand, Austria, Norway, and Turkey among others. The phone is expected to arrive in markets like India after the governments relax norms on cryptocurrency usage.

Some of its features include:

  • HTC Exodus 1 is priced at 0.15 Bitcoins which roughly translates to INR 70,488 ($962)
  • It uses the trusted security enclave of the Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 chipset
  • The design largely remains the same as the U12+
  • It has a 6-inch Quad-HD+ Super LCD 6 display with a 2880×1440 pixel resolution
  • The phone is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor with 6GB of RAM and up to 128GB storage
  • It runs Android Oreo with Sense UI
  • It comes with 4 cameras: two on the front and two on the back with 12-megapixel and 16-megapixel, respectively

Blockchain Developments From Around The World

China’s Internet Censor Releases Country’s First Draft Regulation for Blockchain Cos

China’s internet censorship agency, Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC), has published a draft policy — The Regulation for Managing Blockchain Information Services — as it plans to regulate blockchain-related service providers in the country.

The rules, which is the country’s first regulatory frameworks for the blockchain industry, has included 23 articles. One of the point proposed in the draft includes mandatory registration for blockchain service providers with the agency — like names, service types, industry fields and server addresses — which will be made public.

Gates Foundation, Ripple, Coil Partner For Blockchain Interledger

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has partnered with blockchain startup Coil as part of its mission to provide payment services for the unbanked.

Gates Foundation deputy director Miller Abel @MillerAbel_ tweeted —

Miller AbelInterledger, an interoperability protocol, allows payments across different crypto networks. Gates Foundation partnered with Ripple in October last year by releasing an open-source software called Mojaloop, a payment payment services focused to the poor and unbanked.

Netherland ABN Amro Bank, Samsung SDS, Port Of Rotterdam Launch Blockchain Trade Pilot

Netherland based ABN AMRO bank has partnered with Samsung SDS and the Port of Rotterdam to launch a blockchain-based pilot aimed to bring new efficiencies to container-based international trade — away from the traditional paper documentation — for payments and administration.

“The ultimate goal is to launch a platform that will make the logistics chain more transparent,” ABN AMRO commercial banking CEO Daphne de Kluis said in a media statement.

Dutch’s ING Bank Launches Blockchain ZRSM For Securing Delicate Information

Netherland-based ING Bank has launched a blockchain-based solution, Zero-Knowledge Set Membership (ZKSM) — an open source solution to deal with information and protection issues. The encrypted information framework built by Dutch bank has reportedly been inspected by the Zcash co-founder and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Madars Virza.

Steve Wozniak Joins Blockchain Firm EQUI Global As Co-Founder

Steve Wozniak, who co-founded Apple, has joined a blockchain-based investment venture capital fund, EQUI Global, as its co-founder. According to report, Wozniak will lead the technology investments and will serve as the mentor for ‘tech starts of tomorrow.’

EQUI Global is a technology-focussed venture capital fund, which combines the conventional principles of investing with a blockchain back-end that allows value to be traded in the open market through the EquiToken. The fund will mainly focus on tech companies and non-institutional investors.

Pantera Capital, Khosla Ventures Back Synthetic Minds To Raise $5.5 Mn Seed Fund

San Francisco-based smart contract security startup Synthetic Minds has raised $5.5 Mn in a Seed round backed by Pantera Capital and Khosla Ventures. The startup, which graduated recently from startup accelerator Y Combinator’s summer program, plans to roll out a technology, program synthesis, that detects technological bugs found in blockchain networks’ code.

VC Firm Vertex Ventures Invests In Singapore’s Startup Binance

The leading venture capital firm for southeast Asia and India, Vertex Ventures, has announced a strategic investment in blockchain and crypto asset company Binance. They will jointly set up Binance Singapore to expand into the region.

According to Digital Journal report, funding from the Vertex Ventures network will support Binance in building a fiat-crypto exchange in Singapore, as well as other fiat-crypto gateways and services throughout Southeast Asia.

Blockchain Is Attractive For Many Reasons, Says Joe Vernon Of Capgemini

Consulting firm Capgemini in its latest report says that despite the barriers facing blockchain, risk aversion is making this technology attractive for many reasons.

In one of the survey it conducted recently, 87% respondents are in the early stages of blockchain experimentation, while 89% said it is cost saving, with 81% enhanced traceability and 79% increased transparency.

“While supply chain managers may be having a hard time quantifying the ROI  with implementation, the vulnerability of existing systems gets everyone’s attention,” SCMR cited Joe Vernon, practice leader supply chain analytics at Capgemini, as saying.

[Stay tuned for the next edition of Blockchain This Week]