De Beers welcomes Signet as first jeweller to join blockchain pilot programme – Professional Jeweller

By Stacey Hailes      May 24, 2018

The world’s largest retailer of diamond jewellery, Signet, has been announced as the first jeweller to join the pilot programme for the De Beers Group-led blockchain, Tracr.

Signet, the owner of UK jewellery retailers H Samuel and Ernest Jones, joins a growing list of industry leaders trialling the platform during its pilot phase and enabling Tracr to complete the first digital link all the way from diamond production through to retail.

A Signet project team will work alongside the Tracr team to ensure the platform meets the needs of the jewellery manufacture and retail sectors, with the partnership initially focusing on the tracking of diamond jewellery and expanding the pilot’s scope to cater for smaller-sized goods.

More at: De Beers welcomes Signet as first jeweller to join blockchain pilot programme – Professional Jeweller

AmEx starts using Hyperledger Blockchain for its rewards program – Crypto-News India

By Vignesh S.      May 24, 2018

American Express, one of the world’s largest financial services company popular for their Charge cards and Credit cards will now be using Blockchain to power their rewards program. AmEx has piloted a program which will allow merchants to reward customers for specific actions or purchases. This system will run on the open-source hyperledger blockchain and online merchant Boxed will be the first to make use of it.

Currently, credit card companies have been able to reward users when they spend at particular types of merchants with the merchant code. However, with the new system AmEx has deployed, merchants will be able to reward users when they pay for specific items.

With the help of Blockchain technology, AmEx will be able to easily track specific purchases made by users and partner with merchants to better promote products. The merchant may use this to promote a slow moving product in their store by bundling it with a reward.

More at: AmEx starts using Hyperledger Blockchain for its rewards program – Crypto-News India

Ethereum’s Vitalik Buterin Receives an Offer to Join Google’s Mysterious Blockchain Project – CoinSpeaker

By Bhushan Akolkar      May 24, 2018

Vitalik Buterin created an opinion poll trying to decide whether take an offer and join Google’s team or stay at Ethereum. The majority backs the second alternative.

Founder of the second largest cryptocurrency (Ethereum) – Vitalik Buterin has been recently approached by Google with a proposition to join the company and help the tech giant in their mysterious blockchain project. Buterin was quick to post the screenshot of the email and tweeted it on his official handle asking his followers, in a poll, whether he should be taking the job offer.

The screenshot revealed that a Google recruiter – Elizabeth Garcia has approached him in an email that states: “Hi Vitalik, I hope you are doing well and enjoying the weekend! […] Google make sense for you now or in the near future […].” In addition to the recruiter name, the screenshot also revealed information about the recruiter’s email address and her photo.

Along with the screenshot, Buterin had attached a poll asking his followers “Should I drop Ethereum and work for Google?” Before the poll was deleted, the poll had 2000 followers already voted, of which nearly 60% believed that he should not be taking the offer while the remaining 40% believed that he should join Google. One of the key reasons for Buterin to take down the tweet was because he failed to keep the recruiter’s details confidential.

More at: Ethereum’s Vitalik Buterin Receives an Offer to Join Google’s Mysterious Blockchain Project – CoinSpeaker

AmEx applies blockchain tech to fine tune its rewards scheme – Crypto News Review

By John Moore      May 24, 2018

American Express is be using HyperLedger to provide product-specific reward offers, that can be controlled by its merchants.  

Credit card giant American Express is to begin using a blockchain system to develop its reward points program, in the hope of further influencing the purchasing decision of its customers and providing tools for its merchants to boost business. According to a report by Associated Press, AmEx is already piloting the scheme, that will allow merchants to award reward points on specific items from their stock – the first participant is, apparently, created online wholesaler Boxed.

The company is using the Linux Foundation’s HyperLedger blockchain tech to underpin the system, which provides a platform that allows the creation of the product- (and, apparently, customer-) specific offers that can be created by AmEx, or the merchants themselves, whenever they see fit. The scheme could be integrated with inventory management, for example, to create allow stores to create promos for items it wants to clear off shelves.

More at: AmEx applies blockchain tech to fine tune its rewards scheme – Crypto News Review

HSBC Concludes – “Blockchain Is Viable” After Successful Trade Deal – BTCMANAGER

By Priyeshu Garg      May 15, 2018

HSBC Holdings announced that it had completed its first scalable blockchain-based trade finance transaction through which it has concluded that blockchain is ready for mass adoption in the trade finance market.

HSBC revealed that it concluded that blockchain is a commercially viable technology after processing a letter of credit on behalf of Cargill, a large food and agricultural conglomerate based in the U.S.

It was an end-to-end transaction that was carried out on a shared digital application between the buyer, seller, and the banks involved. An email statement revealed that the R3 consortium created the blockchain technology used to facilitate the trade deal.

Vivek Ramachandran, the head of innovation at HSBC Global described the successful blockchain transaction as an inflection point for trade. He pointed out that blockchain technology eliminates the need for paper reconciliation because all parties are on one platform and updates are handled instantly.

Blockchain To Enhance Finance

The company in one of its statements pointed out that blockchain helps to enhance trade finance which is usually a lengthy process that involves a lot of paperwork. The successful blockchain-based trade deal marks a key step forward for HSBC which has been showing a lot of interest in decentralized ledger technology as well as cryptocurrencies.

Future Currency- e-Krona

In January this year, the London-based bank sent a letter to its clients, through which it pointed out some of the issues that are in the Swedish economy. It even touched on the possibility of a future that would involve a national cryptocurrency called e-Krona. This is on account of the fact that Sweden is one of the countries that have adopted a cashless economy.

More at: HSBC Concludes – “Blockchain Is Viable” After Successful Trade Deal – BTCMANAGER

Devcash Blockchain Clocks in at 2.5 Million Transactions per Second – Blockchain News

By Alex Behrens      May 15, 2018

Blockchain protocol development organization Devvio announced on Monday that its Devcash blockchain has achieved impressive results. It notched up over 2.5 million on-chain transactions per second, compared to the five transactions per second currently processed by the Bitcoin network and an estimated 24,000 transactions per second processed by Visa.

Devvio CEO Tom Anderson stated, “These results let us build a business upon the most scalable blockchain protocol in existence. When you combine this level of scalability with our stability solution, our fraud/theft/loss protections, and our privacy approach, our protocol represents a viable solution for the future of financial transactions across the world, including areas such as payment processing and Forex trading. I feel we have the most exciting technology in one of the most important up-and-coming technological fields.”

More at: Devcash Blockchain Clocks in at 2.5 Million Transactions per Second – Blockchain News

LG to launch own blockchain—the Monachain – Coingeek

By Erik Gibbs      May 15, 2018

LG, the “Life’s Good” company that makes televisions, smartphones and other electronic appliances, is getting in on the blockchain boom. Through its LG CNS subsidiary, it has created a blockchain-powered service that provides logistics capabilities for finance, communication and manufacturing firms. The platform, called Monachain, also provides a digital wallet that allows users to conduct financial operations.

Monachain’s main focus is to be a digital authentication system, followed by a cryptocurrency and a digital chain management tool. It has developed a new identification system, a decentralized identifier, enabling personal identification as well as online smart device payments. LG CNS is currently working on securing agreements with a number of banks to expand its cryptocurrency offering to a larger customer base.

In a statement, an LG representative said the Monachain “can help business owners boost productivity as the company provides a digital supply chain management system that enables suppliers to manage the entire production processing efficiently.” Indeed, blockchain technology has already shown to provide huge benefits to logistics and supply chain operations. The results have been documented extensively, creating greater efficiency and customer safety.

More at: LG to launch own blockchain—the Monachain – Coingeek

Facebook Interested in the Use of Blockchain, Dedicates Internal Team to Explore the Technology – BTCMANAGER

By Shaurya Malwa      May 10, 2018

Facebook’s Blockchain Bet

The year 2018 may go down as the turning point in the history of blockchain technology, as an increasing number of companies are testing the use of a distributed ledger technology within their organization. Spearheading the adoption were financial institutions and logistics companies, and it seems like the tech sector does not want to be left far behind.

David Marcus, the executive responsible for running Facebook’s Messenger platform, has joined an internal team in the organization with a focus on exploring the use of blockchain technology in Facebook’s core business.

More at: Facebook Interested in the Use of Blockchain, Dedicates Internal Team to Explore the Technology – BTCMANAGER

Can Blockchain Fix the Opioid Epidemic? Intel Wants to Find Out – Bloomberg Quint

By Olga Kharif, Natalie Obiko Pearson      April 30, 2018

(Bloomberg) — Digital currencies have been accused of worsening the opioid crisis because they make it easier to buy and sell drugs anonymously.

Now Intel Corp. and the pharmaceutical industry are planning to fight fire with fire. The chipmaker, working with health companies, aims to use so-called blockchain technology — similar to the one that underpins the digital currency Bitcoin — to better trace drugs and potentially stem the epidemic.

The idea is to pinpoint where drugs leak out of the supply chain. Blockchain also could help flag “double doctoring,” where an addicted patient takes out more than one prescription from multiple physicians.

“It will vastly reduce the opioid epidemic,” said David Houlding, director of health-care privacy and security at Intel Health and Life Sciences. “I would not say this will eliminate the opioid problem, but this will help.”

The approach is being tested this spring, when Johnson & Johnson, McKesson Corp. and other companies enter simulated data into new digital ledgers. The experiment will see how easy it is to track pills as they travel from the manufacturer all the way to a patient’s home.

More at: Can Blockchain Fix the Opioid Epidemic? Intel Wants to Find Out – Bloomberg Quint

IBM Partners with Jewelry Industry on Hyperledger Supply Chain Project – CoinDesk

By Annaliese Milano      April 26, 2018

IBM is collaborating with jewelry industry leaders to create a cross-industry supply chain tracking platform, the tech giant announced on Thursday.

Powered by a permissioned blockchain built on Hyperledger Fabric, the TrustChain initiative will facilitate the tracking of diamonds and precious metals as they advance from mine to market.

The consortium comprises a variety of industry businesses, with U.S. jewelry retailer Helzberg Diamonds, precious metals refiner Asahi Refining, jewelry manufacturer Richline Group, independent third party verification firm UL and precious metals supplier LeachGarner as members.

TrustChain will kick off by tracking six styles of gold and diamond engagement rings on the system.

More at: IBM Partners with Jewelry Industry on Hyperledger Supply Chain Project – CoinDesk