Blockchain Weekly Recap 12-19-2015
ANZ Banking Group Joins Hyperledger Project
According to reports, Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ANZ) is the newest addition to the Hyperledger project. That project is driven by a group of finance industry and technology companies that have all joined an effort to find blockchain solutions that will advance their business interests. The group is led by the Linux Foundation, and includes notable companies like Wells Fargo, Intel, and IBM that have all agreed to share resources and research results in a common drive to create a blockchain version that is purposed for their industries.
DHS Seeking Blockchain Research Proposals
In another win for the blockchain concept, the United States Department of Homeland security (DHS) has announced that it is accepting research proposals as part of its effort to gain greater understanding of distributed ledger technology. The department released a statement affirming its desire to identify new technological solutions that can help to meet America’s homeland security needs. The current initiative calls for research proposals to be submitted by small businesses in the private sector, covering a total of 13 different topics that include security analytics and identity management.
The initiative is being managed by the Small Business Innovation Research program’s Science and Technology Directorate. The department is offering awards ranging from $100,000 to $750,000 for proposals that obtain approval during three different phases. Companies seeking to participate have until January 20, 2016 to submit their proposals.
JPMorgan Lists Blockchain Technology among Highest Priorities
Business Insider is reporting that JPMorgan has named the blockchain as a major target of its investment plan for 2016. BI’s report is based on an internal memorandum, and notes that the banking giant plans to funnel at least $9 billion in investment into blockchain, big data projects, and robotics research in the coming year. The news should come as little surprise to blockchain enthusiasts, as officials from JPMorgan have consistently praised blockchain technology’s potential for innovation, and has invested in a number of tech startups in recent months.
Blockchain Straw Poll Conducted for 5th GOP Debate
In yet another indication of the blockchain’s vast potential for innovation, Blockchain Technologies Corporation (BTC) used the technology to conduct a straw poll after Tuesday’s Republican Party debate. The poll asked participants which candidate they thought won the night’s debate. Senator Ted Cruz won a plurality of the vote, with 38%. Businessman Donald Trump came in second with 22%, followed by Senator Marco Rubio who garnered 15%.
It should be noted that the sample size was exceedingly small - a total of 86 people participated. The poll’s real importance is that it helps to highlight the potential benefits that blockchain technology can provide for the electoral process. If the company can use the technology to provide truly secure, transparent, and verifiable election results, it could help to virtually eliminate election fraud. BTC has announced its intention to continue to highlight blockchain voting throughout the upcoming election year.
McKinsey Report Urges Banks to Unite to Realize Benefits of Blockchain Tech
Management consulting firm McKinsey and Company is calling on banks to band together in their efforts to realize the benefits of the blockchain. In a report titled “Beyond the hype: Blockchains in capital markets” the firm asserts that this technology has the potential to fundamentally alter the landscape of the capital markets. Given that potential for industry-wide disruption, McKinsey recommends that banks unite to ensure that the industry maximizes the benefits.
The recent momentum displayed by both the R3 group and the Hyperledger project would seem to suggest that this is a recommendation that has not fallen on deaf ears.