American Express introduces new platform to take blockchain payments using Ripple protocol – Computing

Computing News    November 17, 2017

American Express has opened up an instant B2B blockchain payments system using a new fintech platform from start-up Ripple, developer of the Ripple payments protocol and exchange network.

US corporates can use the service to send funds to British companies banking with Santander, the firms announced on Thursday.

The companies have partnered to offer businesses the ability to make payments through Ripple’s real-time, trackable blockchain service.

Although the service is still in the early stages, the companies confirmed that customers are using the platform and that availablity will be extended soon.

More at: American Express introduces new platform to take blockchain payments using Ripple protocol – Computing


Moldova to Use Blockchain Technology to Eradicate Child Trafficking – BlockTribune

By David Pimentel    November 17, 2017

Moldova, an Eastern European country and former Soviet republic, is planning to use blockchain technology to stop child trafficking.

United Nations recently teamed with blockchain firm World Identity Network (WIN) to explore the use of new technologies and solutions, such as digital identity on the blockchain, to increase the chance of catching traffickers and securing data on an immutable ledger, further making any such trafficking attempts more traceable and preventable.

Digital identification experts from the UN Office for Project Services (UNOPS) recently met with officials in Chisinau, the capital of Moldova, to discuss how blockchain can help solving the exploitation of children.

More at: Moldova to Use Blockchain Technology to Eradicate Child Trafficking – BlockTribune

Nasdaq Explores Storing Asset Data on Blockchain – CoinDesk

By Nikhilesh De    November 17, 2017

Global stock exchange operator Nasdaq is looking into storing asset ownership data on a blockchain.

In a patent application recently released by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, the company outlines how it could use a distributed ledger to record who owns an asset, as well as use digital wallets to allow owners to access these assets.

According to the application:

“Information regarding the ownership of particular assets (e.g., shares in a company, etc.) are stored in a blockchain, and various data processing operations (referred to below as “application processing”) are performed using this ownership information.”

More at: Nasdaq Explores Storing Asset Data on Blockchain – CoinDesk

Making Developing For Blockchain Faster – HuffPost

By Adi Gaskell    November 17, 2017

Earlier this year IBM quizzed around 3,000 executives from over 80 countries on the plans their company had for blockchain.  Whilst 8% of respondents were already on the case and running pilots, and 25% were considering doing this, a whopping 67% were not even thinking about blockchain yet.

Similar results could probably be found for most new technologies in their early years, but they do nonetheless remind us of the work required for blockchain to ‘cross the chasm’, and the experiences of those early adopters will be crucial in convincing the reticent to jump on board.

In many ways, blockchain is analogous to the Internet in the sense that it’s a foundational innovation.  As such, its impact will take much longer than individual innovations because it requires many things to be in place for it to thrive and overcome the various political, organizational and technological barriers.

More at: Making Developing For Blockchain Faster – HuffPost


Will Blockchain Unchain The World? – Forbes Leadership #ChangeTheWorld

By Marshall Brown    November 16, 2017

This past month has brought me on an unexpected journey — into the world of blockchain.    I’d known from the outset back in July when I was introduced to a merry band of sustainability gurus that blockchain would play an important  role in the fashioning of a sustainable planet.    I just had no idea how.   At the same time, just in the last several months, the call for  ‘humanitarian blockchains‘ has grown louder with each conference.

After all the conferences and conversations, I’ve concluded that the implementation of blockchain-based solutions will offer humanity an opportunity to reset the world as equitable and sustainable.   Blockchain will shape the future / rewrite the rules for personal and corporate finance, medicine, education, insurance, humanitarian relief, human rights, local sovereignty, supply chain transparency, identity verification, construction finance, and so forth.

Blockchain — The Hype, The Hope, The Work Ahead

And yes, I am quite cognizant that it will take some time to write the code and set the rules.   If you are coding for outcomes, you can miss the mark.   There could be unintended consequences.   How do you verify identity so that educational, financial, and medical records and services can be secured by a given individual while at the same time protecting that person’s privacy, for instance?     There are a lot of people around the world working on such basic architecture, addressing these challenges.   Blockchain will happen in phases as these challenges are met; these are still early days, but of this we can be assured at this point:  blockchain will continue to grow in impact.

I began with the question, “Can we build a sustainable planet through blockchain?”  and ended with the conclusion that in fact it is hard to imagine us doing so without it.    Blockchain promises radical transparency, a prerequisite to any sustainability effort.   That transparency via blockchain will extend to contractual relationships, with the contracts executing like code over time, altering as various preselected conditions change.

More at: Will Blockchain Unchain The World? – Forbes Leadership #ChangeTheWorld

IBM, SecureKey Technologies Upload Canadian Citizen Identities to the Blockchain – BTCMANAGER

By Landon Mutch    November 16, 2017

BM and SecureKey Technologies, a Toronto-based startup founded 2008, with approximately 100 employees, and offices in Boston and San Francisco, have partnered with the Canadian Federal Government and the majority of Canadian banks in a bold initiative to solve the ubiquitous problem of personal identity security and authentication. Collectively, they are building and implementing a new national identity blockchain technology for Canadian citizens. IBM and SecureKey are building the identity network using Hyperledger’s blockchain technology, which the Canadian government and major financial institutions are already integrating at the highest levels.

A Permissioned Blockchain Driving Innovation

Despite the steady increase in identity theft, most of the world relies almost exclusively on increasingly weak and vulnerable forms of identity security and authentication. The World Economic Forum estimates the average user has over 130 authorization credentials, i.e., username and password pairs. Dealing with the ever-increasing burden of juggling our various credentials is no easy task, and all too often we fall into dangerous habits such as reusing predictable usernames and passwords across all our services. Stopgap fixes, such as two-factor authentication and credential managers, can actually compound the problem by adding even more vulnerable credentials to the heap. In two whitepapers, SecureKey described the inherent difficulties of current identity security and proposed a blockchain solution and has called on telcos to play a more active role in the identity and fintech industries.

On March 20, 2017, an IBM press release said “Together SecureKey and IBM are developing a digital identity and attribute sharing network using IBM’s Blockchain service which is built on top of the Linux Foundation’s open source Hyperledger Fabric v1.0… The network is currently in the testing phase in Canada, and once it goes live later in 2017 Canadian consumers will be able to opt-in to the new blockchain-based service using a mobile app.”

More at: IBM, SecureKey Technologies Upload Canadian Citizen Identities to the Blockchain – BTCMANAGER

Why shipping companies are investing in blockchain – Digital Journal

By Tim Sandle    November 16, 2017
The English Channel is one of the world's busiest shipping lanes

For shipping, like other industries, blockchain holds the promise of transparency and efficiency for global trade transactions. In terms of efficiency, a report from CB Insights calculates that to transport a container by sea from Mombasa, Kenya to the Port of Rotterdam, Amsterdam, requires around 200 different communications steps involving around thirty different interested parties.

Each one of these steps takes time (which, in economic terms, represents a delay in time-to-market) and costs money, either directly in terms of fees or indirectly in terms of time wasted. Moreover, such a labyrinthine system is prone to deliberate fraud or accidental miscommunication. Fraud protection arises since no single party has the ability to modify, delete or append any record without the consensus from others within the network.

More at: Why shipping companies are investing in blockchain  – Digital  Journal