These are the most popular blockchain-related stories from social media in 2015. Between IBM’s open-source project, to Amex entering the world of the blockchain and digital currency, to the blockchain’s questions of safety regarding a bacteria leak, to Greece becoming a fan of bitcoin and Whit Jackson, aka the ‘Bitcoin Kid,’ 2015 was an up-and-down year, with some things to be happy about, as well as a few misfires. Let’s take one last look at 2015 and try to remember its relationship with the blockchain as a positive (and realistic) one.
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IBM Creates Open-Source Blockchain
Computer giant IBM is launching an open-source blockchain with the help of JP Morgan, Wells Fargo, Cisco and the London Stock Exchange. Known as the Open Ledger Project, it will allow businesses to create custom ledger solutions without having to rely on public blockchains, thereby increasing privacy and security. Other companies slated to get in on the action include Mitsubishi, ANZ Bank and SWIFT.
American Express Joins Hands with the Blockchain
The credit card company has invested $12 million into bitcoin remittance startup Abra in an attempt to closely observe the digital currency industry and its respective technology. While it’s too soon to see what the blockchain can do for Amex, the company is looking to provide resources and funding to the startup in the hopes that it will provide answers and further direction in the future. Amex also hinted that it may be making further digital currency and blockchain investments later down the line.
Could the Blockchain Have Prevented a Deadly Bacteria Leak in Louisiana?
The quick answer is yes. Through applications such as mult-sig and two-factor authentication, blockchain enthusiasts are alleging that there is no reason why security shouldn’t have been higher at the Tulane National Primate Research Center, where the leak occurred. The bacteria is classified as a bio-terror strain that presents a 50 percent fatality rate to those exposed. While there was no public risk, the level of contamination was unknown at press time.
Greece Becomes a Fan of Bitcoin
Following severe economic problems, the country’s residents are suddenly turning to bitcoin in the hopes that they can regain control of their finances. As a result, bitcoin demand in Greece has risen by approximately 500 percent, and anywhere between 15 to 200 bitcoin deposits are occurring daily. Bitcoin ATMs are also furthering digital currency business in Greece and respective areas of Europe.
Whit Jackson is “The Bitcoin Kid”
At an age when most kids would be interested in riding skateboards or going on dates, 15-year-old Whit Jackson is taking the time to focus on blockchain projects. Jackson was introduced to cryptocurrency after reading about Vitalik Buterin, the 21-year-old mastermind behind Ethereum. Jackson is now the CTO of Etherparty, a company that aims to make smart contracts on Ethereum easier for developers. He’s a massive fan of the once popular digital currency Dogecoin, and hopes to find himself working at Google someday.