Blockchain Weekly Recap 10-17-2015
$10 Million Hedge Fund Loan Made Through Blockchain
In yet another indication that the blockchain is gaining increased credibility beyond the cryptocurrency universe, a hedge fund called Clique Fund used the ledger to borrow stock shares this week. The transaction, which involved $10 million worth of stock, was the first actual trade made using Overstock.com’s new T0.com platform. Overstock and other firms have been examining blockchain and similar technologies in recent years, in a search for faster transaction settlement and increased transparency in the markets.
Barclays NY Accelerator: Blockchain Startups Score Big
British giant Barclays’ third accelerator came to a conclusion this week in New York City, and eight companies have earned contracts. Two of the eight FinTech firms were blockchain companies, equaling the number of distributed ledger startups chosen at last year’s program. Along with the winning contracts, the selected companies also receive guidance from the finance giant, as well as capitalization from VC accelerator hub Techstars.
Already, additional accelerators are planned for 2016, including the fourth London program beginning in January and two more programs that begin next March – in Cape Town and Tel Aviv.
Greece: First Ever Hackathon for Blockchain Announced
The Inaugural Blockchain Hackathon begins in Athens, Greece today. The event – known as “the Chainthon” – is being hosted by the Hellenic Bitcoin Community (HBC), and has the goal of encouraging participants to work together to develop applications-based solutions that provide greater economic freedom and value transfer. The gathering was conceived in response to the ongoing Greek financial crisis, and has more recently added the flood of Middle East refugees to its list of concerns. Along with sponsors Coinomi and Blockpoint, HBC hopes to use the forum to find new ways to leverage blockchain technology for the benefit of the Greek people and the world.
SETL Announces Milestone Blockchain Breakthrough: 1 Billion Transactions
Another milestone in blockchain technology was met this week as the company Setl confirmed that its distributed ledger platform was now able to process a billion transactions a day. That’s more than twice the number processed just three months ago, and an important step toward providing the scalability most analysts believe necessary if the technology is to gain broader acceptance in the marketplace. It’s also another sign that, despite the lingering doubts many financial professionals have about the efficacy of Bitcoin’s blockchain, interest in other variations of the distributed ledger system continues to grow.
Coin Sciences’ Multichain Taking New Approach to Blockchain for Banks
This last summer, Coin Sciences unveiled its new Multichain Private Blockchain product, designed to provide banks with a simpler way to experiment with blockchain technology. Prior to this new product launch, most banks found themselves hiring developers to experiment with the blockchain source code in an attempt to better understand how the ledger could be applied to their operations. To date, Multichain has been downloaded more than eight hundred times in just three months, and a new version is scheduled to be available later this year.
UK‘s Baldwin Describes Benefits of Cryptocurrency and Blockchain Tech
Britain’s interest in FinTech was highlighted again this week as the Economic Secretary of HM Treasury once again affirmed the government’s commitment to realizing the potential benefits of digital currency and the blockchain. In her speech, Harriet Baldwin MP mentioned the UK government’s March commitment to spend £10m on cryptocurrency and distributed ledger research, while also acknowledging the need for an intelligent regulatory scheme that doesn’t unduly stifle innovation.
Blockchain to Become Part of Peruvian Political Party Platform
Peru’s Presidential campaign may see one of the nation’s political parties add the blockchain to its party platform. The centrist Peru Posible is considering the addition of platform plank involving a greater reliance on technology like the distributed ledger system to help confront corruption and other social and economic issues. According to Hillmer Reyes, the policy director for the party’s candidate Alejandro Toledo, such a system has great potential for adding new layers of transparency in everything from land registry and contract management to the judicial system – and offers the possibility of a more decentralized and less corrupt political system.
Former Llyods Technologist Now Building Challenger Bank Secco
For all the talk of how the blockchain has drawn the interest of major banks, few of those financial institutions have much interest in allowing the technology to fundamentally alter what they do. Instead, most seem content at present to force the distributed ledger system to fit within their existing systems and methodologies. Chris Gledhill, former technology expert at UK bank Lloyds, is taking a different approach as he and his partners now work to build Secco – a challenger bank based on blockchain technology.
His goal is to attempt to reinvent many aspects of banking using something he refers to as a “blocktree” that will allow the distributed ledger to be less linear for the purpose of making transactions offline. Secco plans to release a data-exchange app next year as part of its initial rollout, and adopt a strategy of slowly introducing customers to its concepts.