Blockchain Weekly Recap 11-28-2015
Lloyd’s: Blockchain Could Help Resolve Insurance Industry Challenges
At a recent London seminar, Llyod’s director of operations Shirine Khoury-Haq expressed optimism about the blockchain’s potential for helping the insurance industry overcome many of its most pressing challenges. In remarks to others from the insurance market, Khoury-Haq included the blockchain as one of several potential technological innovations that could help to modernize the London Market through improvements in speed, transparency, and accuracy.
One of the blockchain use-cases presented to the assembled participants involves a digital deal room that would allow secure storage and sharing of documents. That alone would be a tremendous change in the way the market currently operates, given that most companies in the London Market continue to rely on paper documents for their deals. As noted at the seminar, a migration to a blockchain ledger system would provide the industry with the type of unchangeable database that the market currently lacks.
Bitcoin and Beyond: Israeli Conference Shines Spotlight on Blockchain
During the recently concluded Bitcoin and Beyond conference in Tel Aviv, Israel Bitcoin Association chairman Meni Rosenfeld offered some glowing remarks about the blockchain. In his interview with the Times of Israel, Rosenfeld noted that the technology behind Bitcoin is one that is already impacting the international economy in a major way. To support that statement, he pointed to the vast array of new startups - many of which are located in Israel - that are using distributed ledger technology in ways that go well beyond the Bitcoin purpose for which it was developed.
Secure contracts, digital asset creation, improved shipping processes, and payment processing are just a few of the examples cited by Rosenfeld in his remarks. He also stressed his belief that many of these innovative distributed ledger uses are at least as important as the digital currency that the blockchain technology makes possible.
Bank of England Seeking Interns Familiar with Blockchain
A new initiative by the Bank of England (BOE) was recently launched, and focuses on enticing students who are familiar with blockchain technology to present new ideas for products based on the distributed ledger system. The opportunity involves a potential paid internship for up to six weeks, and the possibility of long-term employment with BOE thereafter.
This search for savvy interns comes on the heels of the central bank’s report from earlier this year that emphasized how these new technologies could fundamentally change the industry. This current announcement does note the risk inherent in the adoption of any new technology, but also asserts that those risks are mitigated by the tremendously positive benefits that the blockchain can provide.
Visa Europe Tests Blockchain Proof of Concept for Remittances
Visa Europe this month announced its intent to test the blockchain’s usefulness for remittance transactions. News like this is becoming almost commonplace as different companies move forward with plans to experiment with the distributed ledger and see how it can benefit their operations. Unlike most of those other companies, however, Visa Europe has reportedly decided to run its test on the actual Bitcoin blockchain. This test is just part of Visa’s planned strategy for assessing the blockchain’s potential for improvements in its remittance processes, and is expected to conclude in early December.
Next up For Blockchain: Student Government Voting?
The Student Government Association at West Virginia University is reportedly discussing the possibility of using a voting system that relies on the blockchain in the next school election. The university’s campus newspaper, The Daily Athenauem, is reporting that a proposal from two WVU students envisions the university’s voting student population using an iPad app to cast their votes for the Student Body’s President and Vice President.
The voting would take place using an app written by Ankur Kumar and Ricky Kirkendall - the two students responsible for the proposal to use the blockchain. While such a system could save several thousand dollars in election costs, at least one campus advisor remains unconvinced. That advisor, Daniel Brewster, takes issue with the ethics involved in having the voting code designed by people who will be voting in the election.
ECOM21 2015 Gives Baltic Nations New Insight Into Blockchain
The recently concluded ECOM21 2015 conference in Riga, Latvia provided representatives from 32 countries an opportunity to learn about and discuss blockchain technology and digital currency. Much of the conference focused on increasing Baltic state Blockchain development, while also devoting considerable attention to topics such as traditional e-commerce, alternative banking, mobile payment technologies, and P2P lending.