Blockchain Weekly Recap 1-2-2016
India’s Reserve Bank Acknowledges Blockchain Benefits
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has recently expressed its newly found appreciation for the blockchain, noting the potential benefits the technology could provide in the effort to fight illicit activities like counterfeiting. While the RBI acknowledged that there many remain skeptical about digital currency, a recent financial stability report from the bank recognized the technology’s ability to transform financial market operations, payment transactions, and record management and security.
The RBI report also recognized that the emerging technology’s full potential for disruption remained unknown, and cited the need for regulatory officials and others to work diligently to keep abreast of these innovations.
Visa Europe Retrospective: Industry Must Learn to Live With Blockchain
In November, Visa Europe announced a planned test of the blockchain for remittances. This week, the company released a retrospective blog post asserting that the distributed ledger technology is here to stay. In fact, according to Visa Europe, the financial industry no longer has a choice in the matter.
The post, titled, Why 2015 Was the Year for Payments, addressed the growth in payment transactions, FinTech, and both Bitcoin and the Blockchain. The post ultimately concludes that there is a transformation underway that leaves the financial industry with no choice other than to adapt to the changing technologies or be left behind. As the post notes,
“2015 has turned blockchain into something the industry has to live with. It is no longer a choice anymore. Recent news speculating about the identity of its creator and the formalization of virtual money as a commodity just makes it more real than ever before.”
Nasdaq Linq Used to Issue Chain.com Shares
Nasdaq this week announced that chain.com shares had been issued to an investor via the Nasdaq Linq blockchain platform. The share issuance is the first instance in which the blockchain has been utilized in this way, and was extolled by Nasdaq CEO Bob Greifeld as a “seminal moment in the application of blockchain technology.”
Coilsillium: First Blockchain Tech Firm IPO
The blockchain enjoyed another first recently, as Coinsillium launched its IPO and began trading on the London ISDX Growth Market this week. The initial offering involves 10 million ordinary shares, offered at £10 per share. The IPO launch was hailed by Coinsillium’s executive chairman, Cameron Parry, as an important achievement for the company and for the blockchain.
Parry also took the occasion to heap praise on UK officials like Exchequer Chancellor George Osborne for the government’s welcoming attitude toward FinTech and the blockchain. He also suggested that the company’s IPO launch represented Coinsillium doing its part to help London “be one of the world’s leading innovation hubs in this regard.”
Honduran Politics Disrupt Factom Blockchain Effort
Factom, Inc. has apparently encountered new obstacles in its efforts to apply the company’s Land Registry Tool at a national level within Honduras. The company had negotiated an agreement with Honduras’ government earlier this year, and was preparing to help the country use the Land Registry to catalog property ownership. Honduras has had difficulty with fraud involving land titles, with some in the bureaucracy effectively stealing prime real estate by altering the ownership deeds. The partnership has reportedly stalled due to political concerns.
Despite the setback, Factom’s leadership is still expressing optimism that the project can get back on track in 2016.