Honda And GM to Research Smart Grid, Electric Car Interoperability With Blockchain Tech

Major automobile manufacturers Honda and General Motors (GM) are jointly conducting research on electric vehicle and smart grid interoperability using blockchain tech, Japanese news outlet Nikkei reported on May 20.

As part of the project, Honda and GM will investigate whether electric vehicles can be used to stabilize the supply of energy in smart grids.

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Blockchain as Key to Vienna’s Digital Future — Interview with Ulrike Huemer, CIO of Vienna, Austria

Austria is Europe’s leader in terms of applying modern day technology to better the all-around welfare of its citizens. Making cities “smart” and digital is a key part of transforming public goods and services in order to reach that goal. Vienna is especially keen on innovation, trying to find new solutions by way of digitization.

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ABB Launches Blockchain Pilot for Solar Energy Sector

International electrical engineering company ABB has rolled out a blockchain pilot to explore how the technology could promote the role of solar energy in peer-to-peer (p2p) energy trading, technology-focused media outlet PV Tech reported on May 16.

To implement the project, ABB collaborated with Italian energy aggregator Evolvere to deploy a blockchain it jointly developed with blockchain-based platform Prosume.

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Ripple Exec: Blockchain, Crypto Will Have a Role in US Tech Independence

Technology needs to be a national issue for the United States, with digital currencies and blockchain to be recognized within that goal, according to Ripples’ Director of Regulatory Relations Ryan Zagone, at the Consensus 2019 conference on May 14.

Zagone stated that technology needs to be a national security issue for the U.S.

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Moscow Student Councils Plan to Pilot Blockchain E-Voting in June

Authorities of Moscow are planning to pilot blockchain-based electronic voting in university student council elections in late June 2019, establishing methods that the city’s mayoral election may be next to apply, Russian news agency TASS reported on May 6.

According to the report, the project is set to be tested with the support of the Moscow Department of Information Technology (DIT) and the Moscow City Election Commission (Mosgorizbirkom).

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Singapore Regulator Recognizes Potential of Blockchain for Cross-Border Payments

Sopnendu Mohanty, Chief Fintech Officer of the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), said that blockchain has potential for cross-border payments but the agency “does not see much” in retail bank digital currencies. Mohanty delivered his comments at the Blockchain in Business event at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology on May 2.

Mohanty revealed that back in 2016,

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Indian Tech Firm Tech Mahindra to Combat Spam Phone Calls With Blockchain

Indian technology company Tech Mahindra will be implementing an anti-spam call solution powered by blockchain, Indian business daily Business Today reports on May 2.

This solution will allow phone companies to comply with the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI)’s regulations to protect mobile phone subscribers from unsolicited Commercial Communication (UCC), which will come into effect in the last week of May.

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ITIF Releases Guide to Regulating Blockchain for Policymakers

The Information Technology & Innovation Foundation (ITIF) released recommendations for policymakers on how to regulate blockchain technology on April 30.

Founded in 2006, ITIF is an independent nonprofit institute that provides policymakers with information, analysis and recommendations for handling new technology. In its new guide, ITIF included an array of proposals for policymakers to better regulate blockchain based on principles like technology neutrality and public-sector adoption.

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Chinese Government Supports Development of ‘Blockchain City’ in Malaysia

The Chinese government is purportedly supporting the construction of a “blockchain  city” in the critical shipping lane of the Malaysian Malacca Strait. The development was announced in a press release shared with Cointelegraph on April 26.

Construction and engineering company China Wuyi and investment network SWT International Sdn Bhd have jointly launched the Chinese government-backed project aimed at the development of the city of Malacca into a blockchain city called Melaka Straits city.

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China’s First Blockchain-Enabled Notary Opens Office in Beijing

China’s first blockchain-enabled notary has opened offices in Beijing, local media People reported on April 19.

Per the report, the service opened last Friday at the Beijing CITIC Notary Office. The head of the office reportedly stated that the development marks the beginning of the blockchain notary service era.

During the launch event,

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FPT Corporation and SBI Holdings Invest $3 Million in Vietnamese Blockchain Project

Technology company FPT Corporation and financial services firm SBI Holdings Inc have jointly invested $3 million in Vietnamese blockchain startup Utop, local English language daily news outlet Viet Nam News reported on April 19.

FPT Corporation and SBI Holdings Inc have reportedly signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to invest $3 million in joint venture Utop,

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Swisscom Blockchain AG Onboards New Chief Executive Officer

Blockchain-focused company Swisscom Blockchain AG has onboarded Ethereum (ETH) engineer Lukas Hohl as its new chief executive officer, Cointelegraph auf Deutsch reported on April 15.

Hohl, who previously served at various IT and finance companies, including Blockchain’s parent company Swisscom, business consulting firm BearingPoint, consultancy group Sofgen, and management consulting company Synpulse,

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Blockchain Use in Finance Still Faces Major Challenges: Chinese Researcher

The use of blockchain technology in the financial sector still face many challenges according to a major Chinese researcher, local news agency Sohu reports on April 12.

Wei Kai, head of blockchain research at the China Academy of Information and Communications Technology (CAICT), described roadblocks to the technology’s further adoption at a 2019 meeting of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) Banking Commission.

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India to Use Blockchain to Improve Coffee Supply Chain

The Coffee Board of India has launched a pilot blockchain-based e-marketplace in order to integrate coffee farmers with markets. The development was announced by Indian Ministry of Commerce and Industry (MCI) on March 28.

The Coffee Board — an organization backed by the MCI to promote coffee production in India —  has rolled out an e-marketplace for coffee producers in order to reduce the number of intermediaries between coffee growers and buyers.

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Hershey Chocolate Company Joins Blockchain Advertising Consortium

Blockchain-based consortium AdLedger has on-boarded The Hershey Company, a leading American chocolate production company, media outlet AdWeek reported on March 26.

Hershey, along with French media group Publicis Media and The Global Audience Based Buying Conference & Consultancy (GABBCON), has reportedly joined AdLedger. AdLedger was founded by IBM, Tegna and blockchain company MadHive in 2018,

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Report: Blockchain Spending in US to Reach $41 Billion by 2025

Blockchain spending in the United States will increase from $3.12 billion to $41 billion by 2025, according to a new report published on March  25.

A new report dubbed the “United States Blockchain Business Opportunities and Outlook Databook Series (2016-2025)” forecasts that blockchain spending in the U.S. will report a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 44.5 percent,

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Major UK Energy Company Acquires Stake in Blockchain Firm Electron

Major United Kingdom energy company OVO has invested in blockchain firm Electron through its recently launched technology division, Kaluza. The development was announced in an OVO blog post published on March 12.

Kaluza —  an intelligent grid technology company that provides software and hardware products to the energy sector — has reportedly made an investment in Electron,

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EU Report Calls for Blockchain Interoperability Standards

A recent report to the European Union made recommendations on how to better develop blockchain technology, including the introduction of interoperability and scalability standards. The report was published by the European Union Blockchain Observatory and Forum on March 6.

The report dubbed “Scalability, Interoperability And Sustainability of Blockchains” was prepared by blockchain tech firm ConsenSys on behalf of the European Union Blockchain Observatory and Forum.

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North American Seafood Firm to Use Blockchain Tech in Supply Chain

North America’s largest branded shelf-stable seafood firm Bumble Bee Foods has launched a blockchain platform for seafood traceability. The project was created in collaboration with German tech company SAP specializing in enterprise software, according to a press release on March 8.

Based on SAP Cloud Platform Blockchain service, the new platform can purportedly monitor the supply chain of yellowfin tuna from Indonesia to end customers.

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Thai Petroleum Company Tests Blockchain Energy Trading Platform

Thai petroleum refining firm Bangchak Corporation Public Co. Limited (BCP) is testing a blockchain-based energy trading platform and commercial microgrid, distributed energy news site Microgrid Knowledge reports on March 7.

BCP is testing the new platform at a shopping mall attached to one of its fuel stations in Bangkok. The new system will purportedly combine 280.9 kW of commercial rooftop and canopy solar photovoltaics with 913 kWh of lithium-ion,

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Asia Pacific Conservative Union Launches Blockchain Ecosystem to Fight Authoritarianism

Two executives from the Asia Pacific Conservative Union (APCU) have launched the Liberty Ecosystem, a blockchain-based network designed to fight authoritarianism, a press release shared with Cointelegraph reveals on March 2.

The co-founders of the project are APCU chairman, Jikido “Jay” Aeba, and CEO and co-founder of the organization, Yasu Kikuta. The press release describes the initiative as a “decentralized federation of local advocacy and economic development organizations seeking to combat the rise of authoritarianism in the Asia-Pacific region and around the world.”

Per the announcement,

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Indian Institute Rolls Out Advanced Program on FinTech and Blockchain

The Indian Institute of Management (IIM) Calcutta and training platform TalentSpirit are jointly offering an advanced programme in fintech and blockchain technology, local news outlet The Asian reported on Feb. 26.

The new program scheduled for this May is reportedly targeted at management and finance professionals aiming to educate participants on financial technologies growth and its potential impact on the banking and financial ecosystem.

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Messenger Giant Kakao Spent $57 Mln on New Tech, Including Blockchain, in Q4 2018

South Korean internet giant and messaging app operator Kakao Corp has published its Q4 2018 report that covers blockchain and AI operating expenses, Korean news website ZDNet reports Thursday, Feb. 14.

According to ZDNet, in Q4 2018 Kakao’s consolidated operating income was 4.3 billion Korean won ($3.8 million). At the same time,

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JPMorgan Securities Exec: 'Blockchain Is Still Far From Institutionalization’

Joyce Chang, global research chair at JPMorgan Securities, has said that blockchain technology is still far from institutionalization and must still overcome key hurdles before it can break through to cross-industry adoption at scale. Chang made her comments during an interview on the “Bloomberg Daybreak: Americas” television show on Feb. 7.

Chang noted that blockchain adoption — if not yet institutionalized — is being spearheaded by industries with particular characteristics where the technology can bring real and immediate backend efficiency gains.

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Blockchain-Based Digital ID Systems Are Increasingly Finding Real-World Use

According to the latest estimates, we generate around 2.5 quintillion bytes of data every day. That’s 2.5 followed by 17 zeros — or rather 2.5 trillion million — a number that’s impossible to visualize intuitively, but nonetheless has massive implications for our privacy online, our security and our ability to keep our digital identities within our own personal control.

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