Blockchain is slowly but steadily spreading across the verticals, changing lives. Leading companies, government institutions and universities across the world have already taken several initiatives in this regard.\r\n\r\nOn a short trip to Manchester, I had the opportunity to meet the faculties of the University of Manchester and Prof Sher-Huang Poon informed me how the University is in the\u00a0process to make blockchain, as part of its academics, right from the first semester.\r\n\r\nThe University has recently also won the 1st prize in the US Vs UK Blockchain Hackathon event which saw the participation of top prominent universities from both the countries. The theme revolved around how blockchain could help ease student financial problems and debts incurred for higher education.\r\n\r\nBack to India. Speaking to Inc42, Blockchain (.com) co-founder Nicolas Cary who was in India last week and has been working with Indian blockchain and crypto startups such as Unocoin, averred that the blockchain space as an industry or a sector has attracted more Venture capital than any other entrepreneurial vertical in the past seven years.\r\n\r\nWhat are the developments pertaining to blockchain this week? Let\u2019s take a look!\r\nIt\u2019s Blockchain Now. Bitcoin Died 2 Years Ago: Vivek Wadhwa\r\n\u201cIt is blockchain. Cryptocurrencies, bitcoin, etc. are just overhyped. Bitcoin died as a cryptocurrency two years ago, it became a scam and it became a way of speculating. So, stay away from bitcoin because it\u2019s a disaster,\u201d said Vivek Wadhwa, Distinguished Fellow at Carnegie Mellon University College of Engineering, Silicon Valley during an AMA with Inc42.\r\n\r\nVivek further warned, \u201cHowever, when bitcoin value falls, it goes to zero; so these ICOs, 99% of which are fraud, also go to zero and then you have a few which are gonna be worthwhile, which are gonna be massive as happened with dot com. As a result, blockchain itself is going to get a bad name because it became a casualty of that.\u201d\r\n\r\nLike Bitcoin, blockchain is also getting caught in dichotomy.\r\nIIT Kanpur To Design $5 Mn Blockchain Architecture For E-governance\r\nBringing transparency and efficiency to the governance has always been perceived as one of the biggest potentials of blockchain. Now, the office of national Cyber Security has commissioned a project worth $5 Mn to IIT Kanpur to develop an indigenous blockchain architecture for e-governance.\r\n\r\nAs per reports, IIT-K professors Manindra Agrawal and Sandeep Shukla of the Department of Computer Science & Engineering are the principal guides who would work in collaboration with IIT Madras professor Shweta Agrawal on the project.\r\nZebi Launches Blockchain-based AI Solution For Hospitality \r\nAndhra Pradesh-based blockchain startup Zebi Data India has launched blockchain based Artificial Intelligence (AI) solution for its hospitality industry.\r\n\r\nCommenting on the launch, Babu Munagala, founder and CEO of Zebi said, \u201cAI and modern technologies created an\u00a0extraordinary power of utilising people sensitive data collected by governments or enterprises, that could potentially be misused. Zebi AI Chain provides the much-needed controlling function with complete transparency through Smart Contracts. So, the individual can trust enterprises and governments that reliable privacy and security measures are implemented.\u201d\r\n\r\nAs per Sudheer Kuppam, board member of Zebi, AI can help automate surveillance by employing state-of-the-art algorithms for facial recognition, image analysis, etc. while ensuring the security and protection of the data through blockchain.\r\n\r\nZebi AI Chain solution is currently deployed at more than 200 hotels and we are preparing for full-scale deployment across all the hotels in India. The total market for online hotel bookings in India is expected to be more than $2.3 Bn by 2020 as per the Deutsche Bank Report.\r\nNuggets To Join Access India Programme\r\nLondon-based Nuggets, a blockchain startup is set to expand its operations in India, as part of the Access India Programme. Access India Programme is UK\u2019s initiative to support the Make In India initiative.\r\n\r\nAs per Nuggets co-founder and COO Seema Khinda Johnson, Nuggets is one of the 24 companies chosen for the first cohort. This will give the company access to a range of invaluable services, from mentorship to networking and market-entry support.\r\n\r\nNuggets has some apt solution for the Indian economy. The country has only recently moved away from making 80% of payments in cash, with 60% of the population unbanked. Even so, India\u2019s GDP is forecast to grow by 7.4% in 2018, and the economy is set to overtake both the UK and France in size over the next few years. A consumer product like ours, which enables simple, secure e-commerce payments, has clear value in accelerating India\u2019s move towards a cashless society,\u201d wrote Seema in her blog.\r\nNews From Across The World\r\nAndra Capital Set To Raise $1 Bn\r\nLeveraging blockchain through SILICON VALLEY COIN, a regulatory compliant and asset-backed security token, San Francisco-based Andra Capital has announced the launch of its late-stage, technology growth fund.\r\n\r\nThe Andra Fund is tokenised with Blockchain technology to enable greater access to global investors. As per the official statement, the company has already secured more than $500 Mn in investment commitments and allocations and is well underway to successfully raise $1 Bn. Andra has experienced significant market traction from global, traditional investors (institutions, hedge funds, family offices, individuals), token holders and alternative investors seeking access to high-growth assets to maximise returns.\r\n\r\nThrough its Silicon Valley Coin, Andra aims to democratise venture capital by allowing global investors to participate in top-tier Silicon Valley investments. Previously, this exclusive access has been limited to closed VC networks and large investment firms.\r\n\r\nAndra Capital now also offers access to late-stage high-growth pre-IPO technology companies such as Lyft, WeWork, AirBnB, SpaceX and Palantir.\r\nEY To Launch Blockchain-Based Tesseract Mobility Platform\r\nEY is set to launch a blockchain-based Tesseract mobility platform that looks into core mobility issues relating to sharing vehicle ownership by integrating mobility options.\r\n\r\nSpeaking to ET John Simlett, Executive Director of EY stated, \u201cWith this platform, OEMs, mobility and transport companies, as well as cities and infrastructure providers can tap different revenue streams.\u201d\r\n\r\nThe solution also helps meeting consumer demands by giving them access to the right vehicle for their journey on demand.\r\n\r\nSo far, the solution has been tested in Australia on tractors. And, further trials are set to be undertaken in Eastern Europe on bikes, cars and buses.\r\n\r\nIn other news, aimed to set international standards for blockchain, representatives from 25 countries met in Tokyo.\r\n\r\nRepresenting the Russian delegation, Gregory Marshalko, FSB, Russia stated,\r\n\u201cLook, the internet belongs to the Americans \u2014 but blockchain will belong to us.\r\nEnabling the right ecosystem for cutting-edge innovations, the US has enjoyed being at the forefront of technologies for the past few decades, with India, China and Russia (As USSR broke down) following the race. However, while India and China are already dictating the startup race, and Russia betting big on blockchain, the equation is fast shifting. More so, towards decentralisation.\r\n\r\nStay tuned to Inc42, for more detailed and latest news on blockchain!