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China to Meet With Australia to Deploy Blockchain Technology Commercially

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A delegation of top-level Chinese technology executives is visiting Australia this week to explore the future and implementation of blockchain into industry.

Australia Hosts First Blockchain Meeting

The delegation which is made up of the elite of China’s Fintech companies including Senior managers from Ant Financial, WeBank, JD.com, ZhongAn, Wanxiang and OnChain.

The group is being led by Ming Li, director of the China Electronics Standardisation Institute, which has responsibility for setting blockchain industry standards under China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology.

The delegation is set to explore developments in global blockchain standards where Australia is taking a lead role by hosting the first international blockchain standards meeting for the “ISO/TC 307” group next month, chaired by Westpac Banking Corp director Craig Dunn.

The delegation is tasked with both exploring the next step in blockchain architecture that will be the basis of “the internet of value” and to send the message that China will be aggressive in implementing this technology.

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Serial Entrepreneur: Not Too Late to Get on the Blockchain Boat

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Serial entrepreneur Chris Snook says that it’s still not too late to jump on the blockchain boat as the new tech leads the way into a token economy.

If there’s one thing that wakes up investors in the middle of the night with a cold sweat is the fear of missing out (FOMO). Not recognizing revolutionary new technology or seeing an upcoming economic seismic change is a fear that practically every investor has. It’s true that the biggest rewards often go to those who take the biggest risks and get in on the ground floor of any new venture, and blockchain technology is no exception. As governments, companies, and financial institutions are climbing on board the blockchain boat, it may seem that the boat has already sailed for the average guy. However, serial entrepreneur Chris Snook says that it’s still not too late to get your ticket.

Blockchain is Leading a Revolution

Chris Snook is the founder of the World Tokenomic Forum and a managing partner at Launch Haus. He has almost 20 years of experience in the business world, and he says that young investors can look at the current crypto landscape like the coming of Internet 2.0 back in the early 2000s.

Snook notes that there’s still time to adapt to the changing circumstance, saying:

Right now is one of the most exciting times to be alive. I feel fortunate to be alive and to be in business. I think the next decade will be one of the most exciting we’ve ever seen, but I’m also not romantic about it. I understand that winter is coming, and I know what that looks like. I also know what’s on the other side of it.

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Chile is Putting Energy Regulation on the Blockchain

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In March, the Chilean National Energy Commission is set to adopt blockchain technology – a first for a public entity in the South American country.

Warming up to the Blockchain’s Benefits

Andrés Romero, the executive secretary of the National Energy Commission of Chile, has announced that the country’s regulatory entity will start using blockchain technology in March.

According to PV Magazine, CNE will use the Open Energy platform (Energía Abierta) in order to “certify the quality and certainty of the open data of the national energy sector.” In doing so, CNE will officially become Chile’s first public entity to utilize the inherent benefits of blockchain technology.

The blockchain technology to be used will assist CNE in authenticating “average market prices, marginal costs, fuel prices and the compliance with renewable energy law.”

Romero has claimed that blockchain technology will secure CME’s energy data published on the platform, since the blockchain makes it nearly impossible to alter information. Explained the executive secretary:

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How Blockchain is Enabling Locals to Monetize City Savviness

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Just about everyone these days is looking to monetize their knowledge through posting content, hosting webinars, and becoming “thought-leaders” within a given niche. Personal brands have become a staple in the business arena as an increasing number of professionals seek to create a name by offering their accumulated wisdom.

Yet it’s a fundamental truth that not everyone is destined to have a successful personal brand. And not everyone wants a successful personal brand; that’s a lot of work to make and maintain, and comes from a deep and passionate calling that is far from universal.

Despite such desires or aversions, if given the chance, most would still admit that finding a way to earn some extra cash just by sharing what they already know sounds like a pretty sweet deal.

Monetizing knowledge is quickly becoming a viable reality. Data continues to become one of the most valuable resources available too, so if you have metrics to back up what you know, it’s all the more powerful. This is clearly supported by the multitude of enterprise organizations that value analytics and metrics above all else to drive the company forward.

Additionally, certain analysts claim that personal data generated by people each day can be worth hundreds of dollars.

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Dubai to Launch Blockchain-Powered Automobile Tracking Service

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Car owners in Dubai and the United Arab Emirates will soon be able to track their vehicles entire life history, thanks to a government-backed blockchain platform.

What’s Your Car’s Story?

According to Arabian Business, the transportation authority of Dubai has unveiled plans to create a blockchain-based vehicle management system, allowing owners to track their vehicle throughout the duration of its existence — from its construction to its destruction.

Initially, the blockchain-powered platform will only track all cars in Dubai, but later stages will launch coverage for all cars in the United Arab Emirates — effectively unifying vehicle information across the sovereign state.

The Roads and Transport Authority claims the system will launch sometime in 2020.

The RTA’s chairman and executive director, Mattar Al Tayer, hopes the new blockchain-powered system will be the first government-launched platform in the world offering such a service while helping secure car markets — as well as the entire automobile industry. He told Arabian Business:

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5 Things to Know About Crypto, Courtesy of Rapper Nipsey Hussle

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50 Cent may not be a Bitcoin millionaire after all, but Ermias Asghedom — better known by his rap moniker Nipsey Hussle — certainly knows what’s good with cryptocurrency and blockchain technology. The rapper from Los Angeles invested in Bitcoin back in 2013 and owns an ownership stake in Amsterdam-based crypto company Follow Coin. Last month, Asghedom shared his wisdom with XXL. Here’s what you need to know.

Mainstream Adoption Is on the Way

If you think cryptocurrencies are valuable now — with Bitcoin currently pushing $10K at press time — just wait until digital currencies receive mainstream adoption. According to Nipsey Hussle, that’s when things will really take off. He told XXL:

But imagine when you can pay for Starbucks with cryptocurrency, when you could checkout on Amazon with your cryptocurrency. What will that do to the value and the confidence of people investing? That’s the opportunity. When retail accepts it as a form of payment, you gonna see the real boom. For these coins to be where they’re at, it lets you know how high the ceiling is.

The FUD Is All Political

Anytime the FUD is coming in thick and hot, you can bet that’s all courtesy of the powers that be. As noted by Asghedom, financial institutions and governments are threatened by decentralized currencies and blockchain technology — so you shouldn’t buy into their rhetoric. He told XXL:

Right, and just for the record, the resistance is purely political. I don’t think that the resistance is organic. Because this currency is not linked to central banks. It’s unregulated. That means a lot for the power structure that exists now. People that’s in power—the central banks, these fiat currencies that are traded globally—they got influence over the messaging and the narrative in the media. When you see people on Fox and traditional investors saying, ‘Don’t invest. Don’t put your money in these coins,’ that’s not actual financial advice. That’s political rhetoric.

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Blockchain May Offer ‘Disruptive Potential’ to Industries, Says BlackRock’s Turnill

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BlackRock Inc. has said that it doesn’t see cryptocurrencies becoming part of mainstream investment portfolios soon; however, it is bullish on the impact the blockchain technology will deliver.

The distributed ledger may offer ‘disruptive potential’ to industries including logistics and pharmaceuticals to financial service, according to Richard Turnill, BlackRock’s global Chief Investment Strategist, in a commentary piece. Yet, he adds that the blockchain would need to overcome obstacles first to reach its ‘promising future.’

Turnill said:

Take the financial industry. A blockchain-based, single shared financial database could eliminate inefficiencies and risks associated with human processes, but adoption at scale would require a massive shift in software development and a well-constructed maintenance model. Regulators and central bankers would also need to play a big role, we believe.

He adds that there is an ’emerging consensus among policymakers and business leaders,’ that they remain ‘cautious on bitcoin and bullish on the underlying blockchain technology.’

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Is bank blockchain interest sign of Taiwan crypto pivot?

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In a swearing in ceremony yesterday, the new head of Taiwan’s central bank, Yang Chin-long, in comments focusing in part on the risks to emerging markets from a shift in policy at the US Federal Reserve and worries about the size and volatility of capital movements, said fintech, and in particular blockchain, could play a part in improvements to bank operations.

“We will adopt artificial intelligence technologies and big data analysis to better predict and analyse global economic conditions,” Yang said. “We will be open to innovations and study how fintech development could later influence the whole financial industry,” said Yang.

He went on to say that the central bank – in common with many others around the world – will start experimenting with blockchain technology to see how it might be used to strengthen both the security and efficiency of bank operations.

Yang, 64, has worked at the bank since 1984, having joined as an economic researcher. He holds a doctorate in economics from the University of Birmingham in the UK.

Taiwan set up a regulatory sandbox environment in 2017 with the passing of the Financial Technology Experimentation and Innovation Act to allow financial institutions to develop blockchain solutions.

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Millennials to Utilize Crypto and Blockchain to Build Their Future

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Cryptocurrency will close out its first decade in 2018. For some out of the loop this will be a surprisingly long time but for millennials and early adopters, it probably seems more like the shift from BC to AD.

Technology develops and is integrated into our lives at such an advanced rate that it is hard to imagine life before say the iPhone, which turned ten last year. For millennials, the first generation of humans to grow up with digital technology as an everyday part of life there is no separation between living, working, playing and interacting with one’s device.

Cryptocurrency a Natural Fit to Millennial Lifestyle

Growing up in the digital era seems to have given millennials a different perspective on ownership of goods than generations going back to the industrial revolution. With every form of information and entertainment digitized and streamable there is no need for bookshelves, houses get smaller, for many, the idea of owning a car is ridiculous when you can order one from an app.

The idea of a non-tangible decentralized currency fits easily into a reality where most of your friends exist on the internet and many of them half a world away. While even GenXers may fear plunging into markets that can change dramatically over the course of a day it can seem natural to person who garnered several hundred thousand views on YouTube for a cat video.

Future on the Blockchain

There is so much talk today about blockchain technology being as disruptive to  existing networks as the internet was twenty years ago there is no wonder that top universities are struggling to meet student demand for classes exploring it.

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Does Cryptocurrency Have a Gender Problem?

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As the blockchain and cryptocurrency industries continue to mature, one issue, in particular, is starting to rear its ugly head – women interested in restructuring the financial system with blockchain technology are finding themselves greatly outnumbered by their male cohorts. As such, women’s voices aren’t being heard, and men are reaping the highest rewards.

‘Blockchain Bros’

It’s no secret that men have dominated the early days of the blockchain and cryptocurrency space – but having more men than women involved with cryptocurrency isn’t necessarily a problem in and of itself. What is a problem, however, is the worsening “blockchain bros” culture threatening to exclude women from the benefits the emerging blockchain industry has to offer.

For starters, there’s the juvenile aspect of the male-dominated industry.

Prodeum, a recent startup which claimed to be developing blockchain technology for agricultural commodities, went dark after raising $11 – leaving only the word “penis” on their webpage. Meanwhile, DateCoin advertised “Girls and money!” with a model posing seductively on a couch underneath the words “Touch My ICO.”

Even large-scale cryptocurrency events have been decidedly male-centric – such as the North American Bitcoin Conference in Miami last month, which featured only three women speakers and had its official conference party at a strip club.

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Artificial intelligence & Blockchain in Medicine will save Millions of People from Mistaken Diagnoses

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Skychain Global, for the first time in Russia, has successfully conducted a test of the artificial intelligence system for medical diagnostics, comparing the number of errors committed by the living doctors. This infrastructure blockchain project is aimed at helping doctors and patients have accurate diagnoses.

24th February 2018 – Skychain Global is pleased to reveal that they have just concluded a test of their artificial intelligence system by comparing the number of errors committed by the living doctors while carrying out medical diagnostics. Interestingly, this is the first ever test of its kind to be conducted in Russia. An infrastructure blockchain project, Skychain is dedicated to providing an infrastructure to radically increase the efficiency of healthcare AI development and training.

There is no denying the fact that the field of medical sciences has experienced significant progress over the years. However, human beings are not perfect, and hence, are prone to errors. Unfortunately, just like many years ago, doctors still make mistakes in medical diagnosis. Recent statistical figures suggest that medical errors are the third most common cause of death in the US, after old age and oncology. As an example, it has been argued that doctors fail to diagnose 70% of lung cancer of the first stage on a radiograph.

Experts suggest that the groundbreaking AI technology can help detect a very high percentage of cases that even the best of human doctors fail to diagnose. Skychain Global is in the process of developing a platform on the blockbuster that promises to drastically increase the efficiency and accuracy of artificial intelligence in medicine, by securely uniting all participants in the process of building computer intelligence. The core idea of Skychain is to unite a single smart contract between the owners of big-data in the field of medicine, AI developers and consumers.

Skychain was founded by a successful businessman in the field of IT, with support from experts in the field of artificial intelligence and healthcare partners across the globe. The project team has already developed a prototype system and published its source code on GitHub. On February 20, the prototype system was tested in diagnostics. A few neural networks hosted on Skychain diagnosed melanoma, breast cancer, and heart diseases more accurately compared to the human doctors.

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Washington D.C. Forum Plans the Future of Blockchain Technology

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Young innovators in the blockchain technology world gathered in D.C. to discuss the future of decentralized ledger information systems in business and society.

What is the Future of Blockchain?

The second Digital Asset Investment Forum (DAIF) was held in Washington D.C. Hosted by FinTech4Good it served as the launching event of DC Blockchain Incubator and Energy Blockchain Leadership Committee.

The premier event attracted executives from across the industry to discuss how blockchain technology will change industry in the future much as the development of the internet has in the recent past.

Specific questions posited were about the value of Blockchain to existing applications, the most promising startup models, how to build a strong ecosystem for the healthy development of digital asset investment.

Samson Williams, Partner, Axes and Eggs spoke on the need for D.C. area entrepreneurs to be accessible to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s (CFTC) or Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) or Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) in order to be pro-active in developing regulations that work for the industry.

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Governmental Blockchain Adoption: Efficient and Transparent Government Systems

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Most can acknowledge the potential use cases of cryptocurrencies and blockchain technologies, but if governments don’t recognize this technology as viable, what are the chances of true adoption?

Governments all over the world have conflicting views on the applied use of blockchain technologies in traditional governmental systems. Some governments are afraid as it undermines and poses a threat to their current political and economic systems. They fear the replacement of systems which constrict average citizens and only benefit politicians and large corporations.

On the other hand, there are governments who support blockchain technology and recognize the immense power and capability this technology has. Many countries have begun to test the use of blockchain technologies, which hope to increase the efficiency and transparency of governmental systems. Whether it be financial empowerment, social change, or enhanced democracy through blockchain voting solutions, this technology has the power to enact change and disrupt traditional systems.

Canada: a Key Role in Governmental Adoption

Canada is a country generally seen as accepting and open to new ideas. Canada is also one of the countries leading the charge towards governmental blockchain adoption. The National Research Council of Canada has begun trialing blockchain technologies as a source of new levels of transparency and of trust.

What the Canadian NRC hopes to do is to utilize the Ethereum blockchain and smart contract system to enhance transparency in funding information and grant details. They have begun testing with the Ethereum blockchain by sending such information to a Canadian blockchain company called Bitaccess.

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Could Blockchain Impact Gun Control?

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As debate rages upon the subject of gun control, a professor at Washington State University has suggested using blockchain technology to make an impact.

The topic of gun control has become a hot topic once again in the United States due to the recent school shooting in Florida. As pundits from both ideological sides of the issue rage back and forth, a new wrinkle has emerged: blockchain technology. A professor of public health at Washington State University has proposed using the blockchain to help address the issue.

Firearms and Blockchain

The professor, Thomas Heston, has floated the idea of using the blockchain to create a database to track firearm information. In a paper, Heston writes that people who own a gun can upload their information to an electronic gun safe. This data would be tied to the individual’s biometric data, like their fingerprint.

This blockchain-based database would then be used to track the creation and sale of guns, and the data would be instantly verifiable. Heston says that this approach would protect the information of gun owners from being hacked and reduce gun-related injuries. Another benefit would be that it would boost the accuracy of background checks.

Heston does say that there are certain challenges facing the use of blockchain technology in regards to gun control on a national level. He says:

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California Largest State to Recognize Blockchain Records

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California millennial Assemblyperson recently pushed a bill to recognize digital signatures and contracts recorded on the blockchain, making California one of several US States using or considering implementing the technology.

Millennial Assemblyperson Pushes Bill

Assemblymember Ian Calderon (D-Cal), who was elected to the state assembly at the age of 27 as the first ‘millennial’ assembly person, launched California assembly bill 2568 which would update existing laws to include blockchain technology for electronic signatures and contracts.

If the bill passes it would make California one of only a few states so far recognizing such technology but establish a precedent due to its size and economic importance.

California, as the most populous state in the US with 39 million citizens, commands a $2.3 trillion economy which reviles that of the entire UK would be a huge testing ground for blockchain implementation.

The new bill, which builds on the existing law dubbed the Uniform Electronic Transactions Act, paves the way for an electronic record or signature secured by the blockchain to be deemed legal and enforceable. Key revisions in the latest version include –

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Moscow Looks to Blockchain for Fair Elections

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The city of Moscow is looking to evolve their Active Citizen polling network to log votes in upcoming elections. Thus making the election process transparent to all and tamper-free.

Active Citizens Decide for Themselves

As the white house continues to deny any allegations of collusion with Russian hackers and the FBI doggedly turns over more and more evidence of Russia’s influence on the 2016 elections the city of Moscow is making moves to make sure it can’t happen there.

Since 2014 the Russian city has had a program in place called Active Citizen. This program allows citizens to vote on big projects in order to eliminate corruption. So far citizens have cast their votes on the seat colors at the new Luzhinki stadium, whether or not to participate in a major housing renovation program and the official badges that doctors will wear in all the cities hospitals.

Blockchain Tech Can Help to Ensure Fair Election Polling

In 2017 the Active Citizen program was moved on to a Blockchain network where ideally the data can never be deleted or changed and the system cannot be hacked. Today it has added a private version of the Ethereum network to the existing architecture with a view towards implementing this into the city’s voting process.

In this way, city officials hope to soothe citizen’s fears of vote manipulation while showing the world’s governments that free and fair elections can be had in Russia.

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Blockchain can Save the Asset Management Industry Billions Every Year

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Digital solutions will go a long way in the financial industry. Right now, a lot of processes still require manual labor. It is cost-inefficient, cumbersome, and introduces unnecessary delays. The asset management sector can certainly benefit from the performance increase provided by blockchain technology.

Blockchain in the Financial Sector

It is evident distributed ledgers will play a big role in the future of finance. Not just in terms of banking or remittance either. Instead, new research indicates blockchain can revamp the asset management business as a whole. More specifically, the technology can automate buying and selling of funds, which will lead to major cost reductions. Giving investors more bang for their buck is always an option worth looking into.

Looking at the current daily trading volume across the busiest markets, total savings may add up to $2.7bn. That is a rather significant amount which should not be overlooked whatsoever. Using a distributed and decentralized market infrastructure will have many different benefits. Saving on costs is, perhaps, the biggest selling point in this regard.

However, the blockchain will also introduce additional transparency. It will also lead to new industry-wide standards to automate most of the financial entries recorded by different companies. As of right now, most of that information is still inputted on a manual basis. Staffers need to be paid to complete the tasks, which is both costly and time-consuming at the same time.

Transforming Asset Management Solutions

One thing most people don’t realize is how these added costs are paid by the end investor. That is a situation which needs to change sooner rather than later. A lot of money is “wasted” on manual labor which could easily be automated in this day and age. Whether or not blockchain is the best solution in this regard, remains difficult to predict.

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AT&T and Bayer tap Blockchain to Disrupt Digital Advertising

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Digital advertising is an industry prone to disruption in many different ways. Major brands are trying to introduce a new degree of transparency to this industry in the future. Even AT&T and Bayer are banking big on blockchain technology in this regard.

Disrupting Digital Advertising

It is unclear what the future will hold for digital advertising. The current business model suffers from a lack of transparency. At the same time, advertising fraud is on the rise. Something will need to change sooner rather than later. Bayer, the pharmaceutical giant, has been vocal about issues affecting the digital media supply chain.

More specifically, the company warned about fraud and waste since 2016. Ever since that time, very little action has been undertaken to improve that situation. Using blockchain technology to alleviate some of these concerns is certainly an option worth exploring. Bayer is working together with Amino Payments.  As such, Bayer is now experimenting with blockchain-based campaigns. It is a small step in the right direction.

Interestingly enough, there is another major player working together with Amino Payments. That is none other than AT&T, the famous telecommunications provider. That company is also concerned about the fees taken by intermediaries when it comes to digital advertising. There is no real transparency to make any proper assessments in this regard as of right now.

The Role of Blockchain Technology

AT&T has now begun experimenting with blockchain-based advertising solutions earlier this year. They see merit in the “bidded programmatic space”. It is of the utmost importance advertisers know how their budget is being spent. Without any transparency solution in place, it is impossible to determine how that plays out. If advertisers don’t get their money’s worth, there’s no reason to continue with the current digital advertising model.

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The Railway Transport Moves Towards Using Blockchain Technology

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On 15 February, within the Russian Investment Forum in Sochi, a memorandum of cooperation was signed between Novotrans, one of the largest railway rolling stock operators in Russia and the CIS, and UniversaBlockchain. The representatives of Novotrans told BitJournal.mediaabot this event.

“The main objective of our joint project with Novotrans is toperform the digitization of the train cars, transferring their statutes (loading, unloading, location) to blockchain and to include all details and specifics of the train maintenanceto the digital history of railway carriages. If all rolling stock processes are transferred to blockchain, it is impossible to fake or change any information about the railway carriage and the goods carried inside. This informationcan also be accessed by each participant of the network or transaction at any moment.

The “properblockchain” can significantly reduce production costs and speed up all the processes, and that is why this idea attracts not only big business, but government sector as well, including ArkadyDvorkovich, Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Federation and Chairman of the Board of Directors of JSC Russian Railways, who has expressed his interest in the technology,” said Alexander Borodich, founder of the Universa.io blockchain platform.

The joint project came into force upon signing the agreement. It can take about a year to fully transit the company’s cars to blockchain, forNovotrans operates tens of thousands of the train cars. Universa is the blockchain project which raised $28 million in token sale. It focuses on creating smart contracts in the real economy with the wide scope of application, from electronic keys in aerial vehiclesto transactions between financial institutions. The current speed of transactions on the Universa platform reaches 22 thousand per second.

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Ripple Expands its List of Partners With Five More

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Not many other blockchain companies can boast new partners on a weekly basis. Ripple is one that can and, love it or hate it, the San Francisco based global payments provider has added to that list of over a hundred with five more this week.

In addition to banks in Brazil and India, Singaporean and Canadian money transfer service providers have also joined ranks with Ripple. According to reports Brazilian Bank Itaú Unibanco and remittance provider BeeTech have joined RippleNet in order to facilitate faster and cheaper global funds transfers. Indian bank IndusInd is also onboard alongside Canadian company Zip Remit who are all seeking to benefit from blockchain based financial transactions at a fraction of the cost.

Emerging Markets to Benefit Most

Emerging markets such as Brazil, India and China are home to 85% of the global population with almost 90% of people under 30 residing within those markets. They are a huge draw for companies such as Ripple looking to expand product adoption for xCurrent and RippleNet financial transfer platforms and networks. Over $60 billion was transferred into both India and China in 2017 and Brazil saw $600 million arrive from the US.

Head of business development at Ripple, Patrick Griffin, is confident that blockchain solutions are the way forward to improving the lives of users in emerging markets.

“The payments problem is a global problem, but its negative impact disproportionally affects emerging markets. Whether it’s a teacher in the U.S. sending money home to his family in Brazil or a small business owner in India trying to move money to open up a second store in another country, it’s imperative that we connect the world’s financial institutions into a payments system that works for their customers, not against them.”

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