Blockchain Weekly Recap 1-30-2016
Goldman Sachs Podcast Extols Blockchain Ability to Drive Change
In a recent podcast, Goldman Sachs managing director Don Duet offered some insightful views on his company’s take on the blockchain. Duet noted the technology’s innovative potential, and praised its ability to drive change within his industry. While he acknowledged that the technology is still in its infancy, Duet outlined a number of areas of opportunity that have already been identified by the financial services giant - including greater security and improved efficiency.
Among the many benefits cited in his comments, Duet identified the potential for achieving what he called a “single truth” in information sharing and asset transactions. The blockchain’s potential presents an opportunity for disparate financial institutions to share a common structural capability for reconciliation, eliminating much of the confusion and work involved in communicating between different legacy systems.
New Details on R3 Distributed Ledger Bank Experiment
In a recent press release, R3 announced that it had concluded a successful test that connected eleven different banks together using a blockchain solution. With R3 managing the distributed ledger, the participating banks engaged in trades and value exchanges without using outside settlements or clearing houses. The five day continuous test involved banks located on four separate continents, and ended on January 15, 2016.
Participants included Credit Suisse, Royal Bank of Scotland, UBS, Wells Fargo, and others. All eleven banks conducted value exchanges through R3’s Ethereum-powered blockchain, with hosting provided by Microsoft’s Azure platform. This news also served to reveal the tight relationship between R3’s work and the Microsoft BaaS (Blockchain as a Service) product. According to R3, additional tests and results will continue to be announced throughout 2016.
Blockchain Capital Startup Fund Sealed with $13 Million Raised
Blockchain Capital announced in a press release this week that it was sealing its second venture capital fund, after raising a total of $13 million. That total is three million more than the fund’s initial target goal. The announcement also revealed that the funding had been targeted for investment into nearly two dozen blockchain and Bitcoin companies.
The venture capital firm also revealed that has partnered with investment platform Flight Ventures to create an Angel List syndicate designed to complement the activities of the second fund’s investment efforts. That syndicate as envisioned would provide smaller investors with an opportunity to engage in smaller scale investment, facilitating greater democratization of the funding process.
Japan’s BitFlyer Creates Blockchain Startup Fund
BitFlyer has revealed the creation of a new investment fund for blockchain startups - a fund that it is calling the Blockchain Angel Fund. At launch time, the fund has a total value equivalent to about $420,000. According to the company’s press release, this money will be used for seed investments for new companies like blockchain app developer Savira.
In addition to providing seed money through the fund, BitFlyer has committed to providing these startups with access to the company’s technical knowledge and introductions to other investors and companies throughout Japan.
Republican Congressman Scheduled to Address March Blockchain Summit in DC
Washington DC will be the site of a blockchain gathering on March 3, 2016, and at least one Republican Congressman plans on being there to speak to the assembled crowds. Arizona Representative David Schweikert not only serves on the House Financial Services Committee and the Joint Economic Committee, but also serves as a consistent advocate for new technologies and innovation.
The DC Blockchain Summit will also include speakers from companies like Microsoft and IBM, and government agencies like the Federal Trade commission and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The event is being hosted by the Chamber of Digital Commerce, a trade association based in the Washington, DC area that advocates for greater acceptance and more widespread use of digital technologies and assets.