Blockchain Weekly Recap 4-16-2016
R3 CEV Unveils Eight PoCs at New York Conference
A representative for R3 CEV spoke at this week’s Blockchain & Distributed Ledger Conference in New York. During that presentation, the speaker identified eight proofs-of-concept that the R3 blockchain consortium is currently developing that involve using distributed ledger technology for financial transactions. The PoCs are focused on areas involving settlement, payments, repossessions, insurance matters, corporate bonds, swaps, trade finance, and interoperability of systems.
The consortium had revealed last month that it has been developing a new distributed ledger it is calling Corda. That blockchain-based system has been specifically designed to facilitate record-keeping and settlement between different financial institutions. This news is the just the latest indication that the consortium – created only last year by R3, and now comprised of 42 banks – is continuing its aggressive efforts to unlock the blockchain’s full potential within the financial services industry.
TransActive Grid Brings Energy to the Blockchain
New York startup TransActive Grid this week succeeded in facilitating the first energy transaction on the blockchain. The achievement is the result of the company’s efforts to build a microgrid that would enable the city’s residents to both purchase and sell their renewable energy. The sale in question involved a purchase of excess renewable energy between two of those residents in the first proof of concept for the nascent microgrid.
The goal is to bring more choice to the consumer energy market and reduce residents’ reliance on a limited number of energy providers, while also providing an incentive that will encourage even more consumers to focus on generating renewable energy by adopting solar power and other renewable energy generation techniques. The microgrid system can log every unit of power generated, and then use Smart Contract blockchain features to make that energy available to the marketplace.
EU Parliament to Host Blockchain Tech Conference
Elected officials from the European Parliament should gain new insight into blockchain technology in the coming week, as the legislative body hosts a conference focused on distributed ledgers and cryptocurrency. In addition to the members of Parliament, other attendees will include IMF and United Nations representatives, as well as a delegation from the Bank of International Settlements, members of academia, and regulators.
Bitcoin/Blockchain Meetup Slated for Belarus
For the first time, the nation of Belarus will experience its own cryptocurrency and blockchain meetup. The event will occur in the capital city of Minsk, and is scheduled for April 21, 2016. Attendees will have an opportunity to network with others in the blockchain community, discuss important industry topics, and hear from a range of anticipated speakers such as Bitcoin Foundation Ukraine’s Mike Chobanian.
Standards Australia Sends Proposed Blockchain Standards to ISO
Australia’s standardization authority, Standards Australia, recently sent a proposal for blockchain standards to the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), which operated out of Geneva, Switzerland. The Australian standards body noted that the request was made to facilitate a move toward the development of the type of standardization the technology needs if it is to be implemented in the world’s financial system. Since only five of the ISO’s 160 members have to consent to taking up the proposal, it is likely to receive official consideration at some point in the near future.
Life.SREDA’s Banking on Blockchain Fund Targets Mid-Size Financial Companies
Singapore’s Life.SREDA recently joined with FinTech expert Chris Skinner to create a venture fund it has named the Banking on Blockchain Fund. The fund has been seeded with an initial $5 million in funding from Life.SREDA, and plans are to increase that amount to $50 million over the remainder of the year. Banking on Blockchain was specifically created to provide many smaller financial institutions an opportunity to gain exposure to blockchain technology.
Fed’s Brainard Strikes Positive Note on Blockchain
The Federal Reserve Board of Governors’ Lael Brainard offered attendees at the Institute of International Finance’s blockchain roundtable some encouragement this week as she called on regulators to exercise caution as they work to come to terms with the technology’s potential impact. Her remarks were widely seen as positive, despite her call for the financial industry to take a cautious approach as they experiment with distributed ledger technology to minimize any risk that the markets might suffer a loss of confidence.
Brainard’s remarks also emphasized the importance of continuing exploration of the technology, and acknowledged several areas where key challenges would need to be overcome prior to more widespread adoption, including interoperability between distributed ledgers and existing legacy database systems. Finally, she noted that the Federal Reserve was committed to engaging both regulators and the blockchain industry as exploration and development of the technology continues to unfold.