BLOCKCHAIN REPORT

January 1 - 14

KEY TOPICS

  1. China
  2. India
  3. DTCC
  4. FDA
  5. Homeland Security

BITCOIN

Current price: $850

  1. Bitcoin hits all time high prices across Chinese exchanges (lagging across the west). Geopolitical uncertainties as well capital flight from China and other emerging markets have been a major driver of price throughout 2016. Crypto currency as an asset class is being recognized from wider audiences around the globe. 2017 should bring in a lot more money to the ecosystem as a whole. http://www.cnbc.com/2017/01/05/bitcoin-touching-distance-of-all-time-high-and-boosts-other-cryptocurrencies-with-it.html
  2. The People’s Bank of China is looking to closely monitor and engage with Chinese Bitcoin exchanges. This isn’t a threat but rather a sign that Bitcoin’s ecosystem is maturing. BTCC CEO Bobby Lee confirmed that the PBoC has requested data on its operations as well as recommendations on how the government might move to regulate and help Bitcoin exchanges. “We urge our customers to take a rational and cautious view to news articles which speculate on the visit and discussions,” the exchange said. http://www.coindesk.com/chinas-central-bank-conduct-ongoing-bitcoin-exchange-visits/?utm_content=buffer3a7d5&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer
  3. Investors should brace for the pending Bitcoin ETF’s coming to Wallstreet. Market speculators expect upward of $300mm of institutional money to flow into it in just the first week of trading. Many institutional investors have sat on the sidelines waiting because of the laborious process to purchase and then hold Bitcoin on their own. An ETF will make this much more efficient and easier. I expect it to be approved by Q3 2017. http://www.marketwatch.com/story/bitcoin-could-soar-if-the-winklevoss-etf-is-approved-2017-01-11
  4. The Lightning Network has launched an alpha version of their software on the Bitcoin Testnet. Lightning deemed by many a solution to Bitcoin’s scaling problem will enable off chain transactions at a speed of 1 billion Tx/Sec. http://www.coindesk.com/lightning-strikes-early-version-bitcoins-big-scaling-solution-finally/#
  5. CME Group is the world’s leading and most diverse derivatives marketplace, handling 3 billion contracts worth approximately $1 quadrillion annually (on average). The company provides a marketplace for buyers and sellers, bringing together individuals, companies and institutions that need to manage risk or that want to profit by accepting risk. Now it seems to making an entry into the Bitcoin ecosystem. This past November, CME launched both a once a day Bitcoin Reference Rate and a Bitcoin Real Time Index that updates every second. And this coming year, it will launch a blockchain based digital gold product. http://www.forbes.com/sites/laurashin/2017/01/10/what-is-one-of-the-worlds-largest-derivatives-exchanges-doing-with-bitcoin/#1fb890ff4162
  6. Julian Assange read off the latest Bitcoin block number and its hash to quiet the conspiracy crowd who thought he had been assassinated by government operatives. https://www.cryptocoinsnews.com/julian-assange-uses-bitcoins-blockchain-proof-life/

BLOCKCHAIN

  1. Pantera Capital, exclusively focused on Bitcoin and growing the Blockchain ecosystem is targeting a new $25mm fund. Major investments thusfar include 21, Ripple, Zcash, and Filament. https://techcrunch.com/2017/01/12/bitcoin-booster-pantera-capital-stays-the-course-targeting-a-new-25-million-fund/
  2. The Reserve Bank of India says its time to embrace blockchain and adopt a digital currency for the country. Recent events like demonetizing of larger denominations of paper currency lend credence to the idea that the future of money will be digital. “For a developing country like India, it’s important for the government as well to come up with a solution which would put a brake on issues related to counterfeit and corruption to make the system more transparent and secure,” Akash Gaurav, CEO of India IT firm Auxesis Group said in an interview. “These systems can be enabled using such distributed ledger technologies as blockchain.” http://www.pymnts.com/news/b2b-payments/2017/india-blockchain-rupee-digital-currency-distributed-ledger-demonetization-payment-rails/
  3. A German auto engineering firm along with Swiss Banking giant UBS has announced they have built an automobile “eWallet.” “The Blockchain Car eWallet makes it easy to pay for charging electric cars,” ZF stated in their Announcement. “The electronic wallet can even be used to pay for highway tolls, parking fees or car-sharing.” This is an extremely interesting concept as we move into a new era of “smart cities”. The car will become its own sovereign bank. Another use case which isn’t talked about is the potential for the car to monetize and sell the data it collects on the roads, autonomously. http://bravenewcoin.com/news/automobile-ewallet-uses-a-blockchain-to-enable-new-technology/
  4. Tea Tsulukiani, Georgia’s Minister of Justice, announced that the governments development and intelligence agencies have garnered the necessary technological expertise and talents to successfully use blockchain for protecting the properties of millions of people. They plan on inserting real estate documents on its own blockchain network in the coming months. https://cointelegraph.com/news/it-takes-two-to-tango-georgias-government-to-implement-bitfurys-blockchain-project-in-2017
  5. The Department of Homeland Security is testing blockchain technology to secure its cameras and other devices at US ports of entry. The idea is to create an immutable data trail that can’t be altered by hackers or intruders that illegally access the system. http://blogs.wsj.com/cio/2017/01/10/homeland-security-looks-to-blockchain-to-track-people-goods-across-borders/
  6. IBM has announced a new partnership with the Food and Drug Administration in a study designed to determine whether blockchain technology can be used to keep medical data transfers safe from theft or exploit. In an initial trial focused on Oncology, blockchain technology will be used to create an electronic ledger of where and how, data is transferred and exchanged — — in the same way that crypto currency transactions are traced. The hope is that by creating an audit trail through the ledger, healthcare professionals will be able to hold information leakers accountable, maintain transparency in what data is going where, and secure weak spots in the sharing process. http://www.zdnet.com/article/ibm-bets-on-the-blockchain-to-keep-your-medical-data-safe/
  7. Postal Service Bank of China (PSBC) has selected IBM as a partner for its blockchain asset custody system, launched this week. PSBC used the IBM Hyperledger open-source blockchain platform to create this service. It has already successfully conducted over 100 transactions involving the sale and purchase of bonds since system trials began in October 2016. The trial period allowed the bank to demonstrate the new system capabilities, including streamlining processes, increasing security and efficiency of transactions while managing risk. https://thestack.com/big-data/2017/01/12/bank-partners-with-ibm-to-launch-first-blockchain-service-in-china/
  8. Swift, a global platform that connects the vast majority of the world’s banks has begun building a blockchain application to simplify cross-border payments. Swift is integrating open-source blockchain technology with its own products to build a proof-of-concept that might one day replace the so-called “nostro” accounts its members keep filled with cash all over the world — just in case they need it. “We’re going to use Distributed Ledger Technology as a proof-of-concept to synchronize those databases in real-time, so that banks can optimize their liquidity globally.” http://www.coindesk.com/swift-building-blockchain-app-optimize-global-cash-liquidity/
  9. Sweden will begin testing and inserting land titles on the blockchain starting in March. Lead by the Swedish National Land Survey and Blockchain startup ChromaWay, the project launched in June is said to be backed and moving ahead with the support of two major banks in Sweden. ChromaWay CEO Henrik Hjelte said that the sandbox release would seek to test the platform from a business, legal and security perspective, while allowing the public to test the interface and back-end. http://www.coindesk.com/swedens-blockchain-land-registry-begin-testing-march/?utm_content=bufferfea43&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer
  10. In a step toward turning blockchain from hype to reality, the Depository Trust and Clearing Corporation (DTCC), the central bookkeeper for Wall Street’s securities trades, announces it has selected IBM and two blockchain startups, Axoni and R3, to develop distributed ledger software for its post-trade processing. The new solution will build on the current Trade Information Warehouse service, which manages recording keeping and payments for $11 trillion of credit derivatives and is used by 2,500 buyside firms such as mutual funds and pension funds in more than 70 countries. http://www.forbes.com/sites/laurashin/2017/01/09/dtcc-selects-partners-for-blockchain-solution-for-credit-default-swaps/#4ed04899ad88

BLOGS

  1. How Chinese is Bitcoin, really? https://blockunchained.com/how-chinese-is-bitcoin-part-1-trade-volume-795ac3ed221b#.gj0lopfno
  2. Understanding Blockstream https://thecontrol.co/understanding-blockstream-25af2b6f0084#.mw2fyao3s
  3. Bitcoin, a currency devlaluation hedge for emerging markets https://vinnylingham.com/bitcoin-2017-a-currency-devaluation-hedge-for-emerging-markets-849931d71f6f#.dmkqxddb8
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