Blockchain Weekly Recap 9-3-2016
Hitachi and Bank of Tokyo Focus on Blockchain-Based Digital Banking
Banking giant Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (MUFG) has partnered with Hitachi Ltd for a blockchain-based proof-of-concept that focuses on the digitalization of bank checks. When complete, the system as envisioned would enable digital issuance, processing, and collection of these checks. The proof-of-concept will involve MUFG issuing digital checks which will then be collected and deposited by Singapore’s Hitachi Group companies. The POC should enable the partner companies to identify any potential weaknesses in the proposed system to reduce the potential for security problems in the future.
Hyperledger Continues Expansion with 17 New Members
The Hyperledger blockchain project continues to expand its membership rolls, with 17 new members joining its ranks. Those new members include Intuit, Energy Blockchain Laboratory, Samsung SDS, and a range of other companies from the finance, manufacturing, and technology industries throughout the United States, Asia, and Europe. The project, which launched in December, 2015, now has almost 100 members representing a wide range of industries in the global marketplace. The group’s collaborative efforts continue to focus on the advancement of blockchain technology through the development of an open source blockchain framework that would facilitate the design and testing of “industry-specific applications, platforms and hardware systems.”
14 Blockchain Executives Agree to Address Governance Concerns
Amid an increase in calls for blockchain standards and sensible regulation, a group of fourteen executives from the distributed ledger industry have banded together to pledge a renewed emphasis on addressing issues related to governance. This group has dubbed itself the Muskoka Group, and is made up of executives from a number of startups and open-source blockchain projects. Those who signed the pledge committed to working together to develop a plan for collaborating with officials at every level of society to address the many governance issues that they believe are thwarting efforts to achieve greater acceptance and adoption of the technology.
As part of their new joint effort, Muskoka also has plans to pursue what they are referring to as a “syndicated research program” designed to explore the potential impact of blockchain technology on every area of government and industry, while also studying the broader impact on society as a whole. The signers will also explore options for funding a blockchain hub that would utilize the Global Solutions Network and other tools to help bring the blockchain community together.
R3 Welcomes China Merchants Bank
China Merchants Bank recently became only the second Chinese financial company to join the R3 blockchain consortium, and the first Chinese banking interest to do so. Insurance firm Ping An joined the group in June of this year. CMB ranks among the top 30 banks in the world, with more than $800 billion in reported assets. The bank’s membership in R3 is part of its effort to pursue new technological innovations and commercial applications that can benefit the banking sector in its market.
VISA Europe Collab to Explore Interbank Payments
Visa’s innovation lab, Visa Europe Collab, recently announced that it is partnering with Toronto’s BTL Group in an effort to determine whether the latter’s existing interbank settlement technology can be used to enable blockchain-based cross-border and domestic interbank payments. The partners plan to have their test project completed in no more than 100 days, and have invited banks in Europe to take part in the proof-of-concept by testing live payments on the system.