Blockchain Weekly Recap 3-26-2016
RSK Labs Garners $1m in Seed Funding For Bitcoin Smart Contracts
Startup RSK Labs announced that it has received a total of $1 million of funding that it will use to develop its Rootstock blockchain smart contract platform. That platform, which will be built as a blockchain sidechain, is designed to attract miners and smart contract application developers who utilize platforms such as Ethereum.
The funding was provided by a number of investors, including Bitcoin mining firm Bitmain Technology, and investment groups like Digital Currency Group and Coinsilium. Current plans for Rootstock include a testnet in April and beta release a few months later in September. The goal is to release the production blockchain before year’s end.
New Hitachi Lab to Study Blockchain
Hitachi has announced that it is opening a research laboratory based in the United States, with the intent of studying blockchain technology applications. The Japanese tech giant plans to launch the new R&D lab in April, and will be working with the company’s Silicon Valley technology innovation division to bring the facility online.
The move is just the latest in a series of endeavors related to blockchain technology, and part of the company’s stated strategy of developing blockchain and other technology solutions for its worldwide customer base. Last month, Hitachi made news by becoming a member of the Linux Foundation-led Hyperledger Project.
Dubai Turns to Blockchain for Smart Cities Initiative
Dubai’s Museum of the Future is reportedly taking an even larger interest in blockchain technology’s application in everyday life, as the nation’s government continues to work on plans that would see the creation of a number of so-called “smart cities” within the next two decades. The Museum project is focused on investigating technologies that could help these smart cities enjoy everything from state-of-the-art spas to technologically-managed and delivered government services.
Sony Announces Blockchain-Based Education Certificates
Sony Global Education has now partnered with Holberton School and Bitproof to provide blockchain-based certificates to graduates. The effort is designed to help companies avoid many of the costly investigative processes they must often endure in their efforts to verify an applicant’s educational credentials. The new blockchain notary system would provide easy verification of any student’s academic record to any employer or third-party investigator via the blockchain.
In Podcast, MIT Media Lab’s Forde Says Blockchain Key to Unlocking Internet’s Potential
In a recent podcast interview with Inc Uncensored, MIT Media Lab digital currency director Brian Forde offered his thoughts on the blockchain and the fundamental changes that it might unleash on the world. Among the long list of positive benefits that he envisioned the technology providing, Forde included one that has received little attention in the media: unlocking the true potential of the internet for things like commercial transactions.
Forde described the blockchain as “assets over IP” and pointed out that the current commercial potential of the online marketplace is hampered by the clunky use of credit cards and other payment options. He also noted that this is even more of an obstacle in countries where large percentages of the population have no access to credit cards or banks.
He also touched on how the blockchain could replace some legal services, insurer work, and banking services, while improving the management of digital content rights for creators and creative industries. The full podcast can be accessed here.
Blockchain World Expo to be Presented in Toronto
In a press release published on Market Wired, Decentral and Ethereum Canada announced that they would be presenting the Blockchain World Expo trade show in Toronto, Ontario. The event will be held from September 19 to September 21, 2016, with some 60 speakers and more than 50 businesses scheduled to participate from around the world.
The event is designed to gather blockchain companies, investors, financial industry professionals, developers, government regulators, and many others to facilitate greater awareness of blockchain technology and the industry. New products and services will be showcased, including new mining equipment, protocols, trading platforms, and more.