BMW-Backed Blockchain Competition Offers Token Prizes for Auto Tech

The Mobility Open Blockchain Initiative (MOBI) has launched a development “tournament” to explore how vehicles will communicate, co-operate and transact in the smart cities of the near-future. The 4-month MOBI Grand Challenge kicks off on October 12, with a public demonstration of winning technologies to be hosted by BMW Group in Munich, Germany on next February. The prizes come in the form of blockchain tokens, which will drive next-generation mobility and data sharing: Ocean Protocol, a blockchain enabled data exchange protocol, has committed $1 million worth of token prize; and…

Blockchain Finance Startup Clearmatics Raises $12 Million in New Funding

Blockchain finance firm Clearmatics Technologies has raised over $12 million in a Series A funding round led by venture capital firm Route 66 Ventures. Additional investment in the funding round came from private equity firm TNF Capital and XTX Ventures, the venture capital arm of electronic market-making firm XTX Markets. As part of the arrangement, Samir Khosla, a managing partner at TNF Capital, will join Clearmatics’ board of directors. Khosla said his company was pleased to deepen its commitment to Clearmatics and praised “its exceptional team under the leadership of Robert…

UK Telecom Regulator Receives £700,000 Blockchain Grant for Managing Phone Numbers

UK national telecoms regulator Ofcom has received £700,000 ($912,000) to explore blockchain solutions in UK landline telephone management. The grant was issued by the Department of Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy. An Ofcom announcement states that between now and April 2020, industry participants will be invited “to trial the porting and management of millions of telephone numbers using blockchain and ledger technology” in an initiative involving industry and university providers as well as third-party providers. Blockchain technology will allow trusted transactions (AKA ‘consumer porting’ in this case) to “manage the…

Jack Ma Pays Attention to Blockchain & Bitcoin to Create Cashless Society

Jack Ma, the chairman of Alibaba and $150 billion China-based financial conglomerate Ant Financial, has said in a recent speech that he pays special attention to Bitcoin and blockchain technology, and the potential of establishing a cashless society. Although Ma is still studying the fundamental value Bitcoin and other major cryptocurrencies bring to the market, he emphasized that blockchain technology as a whole is a powerful innovation that could enable a completely cashless society. China is Already Nearly Cashless Only a very small portion of the population in China uses…

Australia Trials Citizen Disability Insurance Payments on a Blockchain

The Australian federal government is testing a blockchain application to explore the use of blockchain technology to create ‘smart money’ for the country’s National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). Dubbed “Making Money Smart”, the trial is jointly developed by the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO) – Australia’s federal science agency – and the Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA), one of the domestic ‘big four’ retail banks. The proof-of-concept trial will use smart contracts to create ‘smart money’ or ‘programmable money’ as blockchain tokens to the country’s disability insurance program,…

Thailand Studies Blockchain for Applications in Intellectual Property, Trade Finance

Two feasibility studies on blockchain technology have been launched by Thailand’s Ministry of Commerce. The studies, which will focus on exploring the use of blockchain technology in trade finance and the registration of intellectual property, are expected to be completed in February 2019, per the Bangkok Post. According to Pimchanok Vonkorpon, the director of Thailand’s Trade Policy and Strategy Office (TPSO) which falls under the commerce ministry, the project has received support from the British Embassy. Increasing Efficiency and Trust With regards to trade financing, Pimchanok pointed out that blockchain…

Airports Plenty Interested in Blockchain Applications, Study Reveals

A new study has shown that the blockchain technology appears to be gaining traction, and attention in the airline industry. Per reports from airline focused magazine, Airport World, data from SITA Lab has revealed that blockchain technology attracted the most research attention in the industry in 2018. SITA, a technology research company responsible for stimulating technological revolution by collaborating with airlines, airports, and technology specialists globally—opined that distributed ledgers are more efficient and give an advantage when it comes to rendering airline services such as passenger identification, ticketing and more.…

Dubai to Launch Blockchain Payments with State Digital Currency ‘emCash’

Dubai residents will soon have the means to make payments for school fees, bills and other retail purchases with emCash, a state-developed blockchain-based digital currency. The UAE’s first official credit bureau – emCredit – under the Dubai Department of Economic Development is pushing its official blockchain-encrypted state digital currency emCash for wider adoption by rolling out point-of-sale (PoS) devices at government storefronts across Dubai. PoS devices will also be deployed at retail storefronts, enabling both citizens and residents of Dubai to make purchases following a partnership with blockchain payments provider…

IBM’s Food Blockchain Is Going Live With a Supermarket Giant on Board

IBM is taking its food-tracking blockchain into production, making it one of the largest enterprise projects to achieve that milestone, and has signed European supermarket giant Carrefour to use it. Announced Monday, the commercial launch of IBM Food Trust means that large players, as well as small and medium-size enterprises (SMEs) in the food industry supply chain, can now join the network for a subscription fee ranging from $100 to $10,000 a month. And many SMEs may have a stronger incentive to participate to participate now that Carrefour, which operates 12,000…

China to Drafts for Three Domestic Blockchain Standards in 2018

The China Electronics Standardization Institute (CESI), a government organization under the country’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT), plans to release three blockchain standards for smart contracts, privacy and deposits as a way to improve the country’s development of the blockchain industry. The standards, which would be association based, were announced by Li Ming, a director of the research lab, during a recent presentation to Deep Tech, a Chinese media outlet, according to China Money Network. The standards, which include basic standards, information security standards, process and method standards,…