Blockchain Weekly Recap 3-12-2016
German Regulators Begin to Examine Blockchain
For some time now, there has been a growing effort by the world’s regulatory agencies to gain greater insight into blockchain technology. The German regulatory authority BaFin (Bundesanstalt für Finanzdienstleistungsaufsicht) recently joined in that effort with the publication of a new article bearing the somewhat inelegant title “Distributed Ledger: The technology behind virtual currencies: the example of blockchain.”
This initial agency look at distributed ledger technology and its potential benefits is admittedly lacking in clarity, and some have questioned whether BaFin officials have anything more than the most tenuous grasp on the concepts involved. However, the publication is at least a sign that German officials are finally – if belatedly – attempting to come to terms with blockchain innovation.
Germany’s RWE Examining Blockchain Tech for Charging Stations
In the aftermath of the2011 Fukushima nuclear incident in Japan, the German government made the decision to gradually eliminate the country’s reliance on nuclear power. That decision left the nation’s utility companies scrambling to innovate and find alternative solutions. One such company, RWE, is responding to these looming changes by turning at least some of its attention to finding ways to incorporate cost-saving blockchain technologies into its energy transmission services.
RWE is working with Ethereum startup Slock.It to create PoCs that can utilize the technology to lower costs and streamline administrative processes. For example, one idea under consideration would see blockchain smart contracts used to manage billing transactions and authentication procedures at the nation’s electric vehicle charge stations. The idea is that cost savings can be realized due to the blockchain’s greater efficiency in the area of microtransactions processing. In addition, the technology would reduce labor costs by allowing machines to service customers directly.
TMX Hires Ethereum Founder as Exchange Moves to Explore Blockchain
In a sign that it is getting closer to serious exploration of blockchain technology, Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) operator TMX Group has announced the appointment of Ethereum project founder Anthony Di lorio to serve as the company’s chief digital officer. Di lorio is expected to begin working with TSX as it examines ways to incorporate FinTech innovations into its operations. The effort will reportedly begin with an outreach effort designed to familiarize TMX Group employees with distributed ledger technology.
Deloitte Report Suggests Blockchain Could Surpass ACH Network in Nine Years
The Deloitte Center for Financial Services recently released a report that suggests that blockchain systems could, within the next decade, increase their transaction volume to the point where they surpass activity on the Automated Clearing House (ACH) network.
The report is titled “Banking Industry Outlook: Banking reimagined” and examines how new technologies could transform the banking industry over the course of the next ten years. In addition to its predictions about increased blockchain activity, the paper also envisions Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies gaining mainstream acceptance – though it also notes that a great number of altcoins are likely to fall by the wayside.
Blockchain Sneaker Authentication Startup Chronicled Reports $3.4 Million Funding
With support from investors like Mandra Capital, Colbeck Capital Management, and Pantera Capital, blockchain startup Chronicled reportedly ended a recent round of funding with $3.42 million in seed money. The company was launched in 2014 with the dream of using blockchain-linked smart tags to enable consumer products such as collectible sneakers to be authenticated using distributed ledger technology.
Guardtime Blockchain System to Secure 1 Million Estonian Healthcare Records
Blockchain data security company Guardtime is working to institute a blockchain system for securing a million patient health records in Estonia. The company recently announced that it is working in conjunction with the nation’s eHealth Foundation to implement a secure distributed ledger system to facilitate more efficient and secure management of citizen records.