Blockchain Weekly Recap 9-17-2016
Ripple Receives $55 Million in Bank Funding
Google-backed blockchain startup Ripple has received $55 million in its latest round of funding, bringing its total fund-raising effort to more than $93 million. The company’s latest round of investors includes notable companies and organizations like Accenture Ventures, SBI Holdings, Santander Innoventures, Seagate Technology, and many others. In addition, the company also managed to attract some new strategic partners like IDG Capital Partners and GV. According to Ripple CEO Chris Larsen, the funding will be used to expand the company’s global reach with new hiring at its various offices, and possible expansion into new locations such as Frankfurt and Singapore. Larsen also noted that Ripple will be looking for acquisition opportunities that may arise in the near future.
Goldman Sachs Files Blockchain Forex Patent
On September 8, 2016, the U.S. patent and Trademark Office published a Goldman Sachs patent related to blockchain usage in foreign exchange trading. The patent focused on using blockchain technology to facilitate those trades without the need for a third party middle man. According to language in the patent, the Sachs approach involves an effort to deliver blockchain-based trading with greater privacy than current systems, in a secure and regulatory compliant manner. In the patent, Sachs also took aim at the types of systems currently being developed by companies like Ripple – noting that those systems provide too much publicly-accessible information about transactions and balances.
Bank of England Announces Payment System Upgrade
A decade ago, the recent announcement by the Bank of England that it is upgrading its payment system might not have been considered all that newsworthy. Given the recent interest in blockchain technology and the central bank’s declared reason for the upgrade, however, the move is something worth noting. Reportedly, one of the central goals of the upgrade plan is to ensure that the bank’s Real-Time Gross Settlement system can effectively accommodate distributed ledger technology in the future. That way, the bank’s technology will already be capable of interfacing with any new systems that develop when blockchain adoption achieves critical mass.
Republican Congressman Proposes Blockchain Solution to Combat VA Problems
As the Obama Administration continues to receive criticism for the poor performance of the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs, and that agency’s scandalous treatment of the nation’s veterans in recent years, one Republican Congressman has proposed a radical solution that goes beyond just firing those VA official responsible for the crisis. That solution involves using blockchain technology at the VA to track all veteran medical appointments.
The proposal is the brainchild of Arizona Republican Representative David Schweikert, and is clearly designed to provide another layer of protection for America’s veterans who have been ill-served by a VA that spent years delaying needed medical care, and then actively altered official scheduling records in an attempt to prevent the delays from being discovered by the public or officials charged with oversight. The new blockchain solution proposed by Schweikert would, in the language of his amendment, “ensure that veterans seeking health care appointments at medical facilities of the Department are able to use an Internet website, a mobile application, or other similar electronic method to use distributed ledger technology to view such appointments and ascertain whether an employee of the Department of Veterans Affairs has modified such appointments."