Tag Archives: Blockchain
NEW YORK (Reuters) – FUSION, a Singapore-based crypto-finance start-up, has secured $ 12.3 billion in financial assets from three strategic partners that have committed to lock in those funds with the organization’s public blockchain platform, FUSION founder DJ Qian told Reuters.
The secured funds come from FormulA, Carnex, and KuaiLaiCai, three companies operating in asset management, car financing, and restaurant supply chain management, respectively.
The locked-in funds represent a commitment from the three companies, which have deposited their assets with the FUSION blockchain, for them to manage them or handle transactions from those funds.
Blockchain, the system powering cryptocurrencies like bitcoin, is a shared database that is maintained by a network of computers connected to the internet.
“FUSION is like a value connector,” Qian said in an interview late on Thursday. “Every company has its own ecosystem and the money flows from one player to another. But that ecosystem is actually limited.
“What FUSION is trying to do is create a platform that will help those ecosystems connect with each other once they have digitized their assets,” he added.
By locking the assets onto FUSION, companies are able to gain access to a global finance network, interact across various cryptocurrencies and have a broader choice of financial instruments, Qian said.
FUSION raised more than $ 100 million in a token sale in February but had to return half of that to investors because the start-up had already hit its limit for capital, said Qian. It raised more than $ 50 million in less than 24 hours for its token offering.
Reporting by Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss; Editing by Dan Grebler
Frank Abagnale, the once-notorious confidence trickster portrayed by Leonardo DiCaprio in the film Catch Me If You Can, said blockchain is the future of secure information processing and data settlement.
A video has surfaced from Abagnale’s speech at a blockchain conference in April in which he shares his thoughts on the burgeoning technology.
“I think you have to be pretty ignorant not to realize that blockchain is the way of the future,” he said at the Blockchain Nation Miami conference. “It is the best way to secure information, to secure it 100%.”
For more than 40 years, Abagnale has worked with and advised hundreds of financial institutions, corporations, and government agencies. In his opinion, these institutions will begin embracing the technology. Blockchain is often defined as “an open, distributed ledger that can record transactions between two parties efficiently and in a verifiable and permanent way.” Communication occurs between peers instead of through a central authority, and every transaction is visible to anyone with access to the system.
“I think you’ll see banks—especially accounting practices and accounting firms—all move to blockchain,” he said about keeping records on the decentralized network technology. “You cannot break the blockchain. You cannot hack into the blockchain. You can’t change anything on the blockchain.”
He outlines some privacy issues that need to be worked out when using the technology, but Abagnale said it is a technology that will “eventually be adopted by all types of governments, businesses, and corporations.”
Abagnale is alluding to a trend that is already in motion.
HSBC recently said it performed the world’s first trade finance transaction using blockchain technology. Santander last month launched a foreign exchange service that uses the distributed ledger tech to make same-day international money transfers. J.P. Morgan recently applied for a patent to facilitate payments between banks using the blockchain.
BERLIN (Reuters) – Aerospace suppliers are starting to explore blockchain technology to keep tabs on their supply chain, potentially tracking parts such as those identified as the cause of a Southwest Airlines accident last month.
While blockchain is best known as the digital transactions technology that underpins cryptocurrency bitcoin, it can also be harnessed to track, record and transfer assets across all manner of industries, potentially smoothing operations, cutting costs and improving cash management.
The challenge faced by the aerospace industry in keeping track of tens of thousands of different parts came to light when it emerged after last month’s fatal explosion that some airlines do not keep track of the history of each individual fan blade within an engine.
In addition to the operational and cost benefits, improved parts management could speed up safety checks after an accident, industry experts said, and an increasing number of aerospace suppliers are looking at blockchain as a potential solution.
Blockchain offers a secure encrypted audit trail because there is only one version of the data, meaning it can be used to ensure traceability without reams of paperwork. It is already being used to track cobalt on its journey from Congo mines to smartphones, for example.
Moog, a U.S. manufacturer of flight control systems, is working with partners to create a blockchain-based solution called VeriPart, which will initially be used to track 3D printed components.
Moog’s technology chief George Small said the aerospace industry, like other highly regulated sectors such as the medical and nuclear power industries, was expending considerable effort on tracking parts across the supply chain to keep up with quality and regulatory demands.
Small said the use of blockchain could increase efficiency and transparency in the sharing of data and that customer feedback has been positive so far. Though VeriPart is still in development, Moog has already had talks with customers on other potential uses for the technology.
“The solution is broadly applicable to manufactured goods and associated data that need to be tracked across supply chains from origin to delivery and on into service,” Small said in an emailed response to questions.
Advocates for the technology say transparency is ensured by the encrypted audit trail and because blockchains are open and decentralized, allowing different parties to share information.
Engine maker Rolls-Royce (RR.L) is among those working with blockchain developers to establish how it could be used in the supply chain and says it is rapidly developing solutions.
“The company sees opportunities to automate records for complex products that currently require significant manual effort to ensure they are well managed,” a Rolls-Royce spokesman said.
Technology company Sabre (SABR.O), which has been looking at various uses for blockchain in the travel and aviation industries, said it could see the case for using it as a system to track components.
“It’s a situation where you don’t need ultra fast technology, but you need to be able to trust what’s in the blockchain record,” said Philip Likens, director of Sabre Labs.
Likens said the technology could be used to show who created what part on what date, when it was put on a plane and then how many hours the plane was in operation.
“You want to know that all those things are right and correct, that’s the immutability part,” he said, referring to how blockchain entries cannot be changed.
Planemaker Airbus (AIR.PA), meanwhile, is looking for a blockchain solution architect to be based at one of its sites in either Toulouse, Filton, Broughton or Hamburg, according to an online job posting.
It has formed a working group within the company to identify business challenges worth addressing with blockchain and a spokeswoman said the supply chain seems a natural fit.
“Blockchain could improve the tracking of goods and become a complement to, not a wholesale replacement of, suppliers’ procurement software,” she said
But blockchain isn’t the only technology that can be used to keep a closer eye on parts in the supply chain.
Enders Analysis, in a wide-ranging note on blockchain and its use across various industries, says that a lot of the capabilities of blockchain are exaggerated or misunderstood and that existing technology can often perform the same roles.
It says that while blockchain-inspired technology could be used to bring transparency to supply chain management, it could be hard to guarantee that goods really were delivered as specified on the blockchain.
“Upgrading systems to take advantage of technological progress is important and can increase efficiency,” the analysts wrote in general advice to any company looking at blockchain.
“But those ends are much more important than the means: there is no point deploying blockchain – or a product marketed as blockchain – just for the sake of it.”
In an example of other technology that can be used to improve supply chain efficiency, Airbus last week signed up aircraft structures maker Premium Aerotec to its cloud-based aviation data platform, Skywise.
The platform will take order, production and quality data from Airbus and Premium Aerotec and analyze the data with a view to keeping the manufacturing process stable and providing transparency in the supply chain.
“To build the aircraft, Airbus needs to know where the parts are and when they are coming,” Premium Aerotec CEO Thomas Ehm told Reuters, adding that the Skywise platform aims to provide much better visibility of the manufacturing process.
Reporting by Victoria Bryan; Additional reporting by Tim Hepher; Editing by David Goodman
NEW YORK (Reuters) – JPMorgan Chase & Co (JPM.N) has tested a new blockchain platform for issuing financial instruments with the National Bank of Canada and other large firms, they said on Friday, seeking to streamline origination, settlement, interest rate payments and other processes.
The test on Wednesday mirrored the Canadian bank’s $ 150 million offering on the same day of a one-year floating-rate Yankee certificate of deposit, they said in a statement. The platform was built over more than a year using Quorum, a type of open-source blockchain that JPMorgan has developed inhouse and is in discussions to spin off.
Participants in the experiment included Goldman Sachs Asset Management, the fund management arm of Goldman Sachs Group Inc (GS.N), Pfizer Inc (PFE.N) and Legg Mason Inc’s (LM.N) Western Asset and other investors in the certificate of deposit.
Banks have poured millions of dollars to develop blockchain, the software first created to run cryptocurrency bitcoin, to streamline processes ranging from cross-border payments to securities settlement.
“Blockchain-related technologies have the potential to bring about major change in the financial services industry,” David Furlong, senior vice president of artificial intelligence, venture capital and blockchain at National Bank of Canada, said in a statement.
JPMorgan is considering spinning off Quorum because the technology has attracted significant outside interest, Umar Farooq, head of blockchain initiatives for JPMorgan’s corporate and investment bank said in an interview.
He said it was taking too much time to field requests for help from users at other companies.
Charging for assistance is not an option because software support is not the bank’s business, a person familiar with the matter said on condition of anonymity. The source was not authorized to discuss the matter publicly.
The spin-off discussions are in the early stages and the bank has received interest from financial institutions and large enterprise technology companies, Farooq added. He declined to name the companies.
JPMorgan plans to beef up the Quorum team with dozens of engineers from the bank’s other divisions who have become familiar with the technology, he said.
Blockchain is in the early stages of development in the financial industry, but JPMorgan is optimistic about its potential, Farooq said.
“We haven’t really seen a lot of really large scale things go into production yet. There are few cases where blockchain can really shine.”
Reporting by Anna Irrera; Editing by Richard Chang
TEL AVIV (Reuters) – Swiss-Israeli technology firm Sirin Labs said on Thursday it had raised $ 118 million in an initial coin offering (ICO) to support the development of an open source blockchain smartphone.
ICOs allow startups founded on cryptocurrency technologies such as blockchain to quickly raise capital by issuing virtual tokens to investors.
Such offerings have become more common in the past year, but Europe’s top markets regulator warned last month they were “extremely risky and highly speculative investments.”
Sirin, which has recruited soccer superstar Lionel Messi to be its brand ambassador, said it had raised the money from 5,600 people globally within the first 24 hours and would continue the offering for another 12 days.
“These are our potential clients. We think they will be the first to buy the phones,” Moshe Hogeg, CEO and founder of Sirin, told reporters.
The ICO will help fund its secure blockchain phone, as well as a blockchain personal computer. The company said the phone, which should be on the market near the end of next year, benefits from enhanced security and the ability to carry out fee-less transactions.
Hogeg said his target had been to raise $ 75 million – the amount needed to develop the phone. The additional funds will enable the company to increase its production and invest more in sales and marketing.
Reporting by Ari Rabinovitch and Tova Cohen; Editing by Mark Potter
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In this podcast, Computer Weekly storage editor Antony Adshead talks with the CEO of Vigitrust, Mathieu Gorge, about the implications for storage and compliance of always-available healthcare data, biometric security methods and the data generated, Blockchain, and human-robot interaction in internet of things deployments.
Antony Adshead: What is Web Summit, why is it important, and what key themes emerged with regard to storage and compliance?
Mathieu Gorge: The Web Summit has been held every year for the past 10 years. It grew from 400 people to more than 59,000 people this year, and is currently held in Lisbon. The founder is Paddy Cosgrave, who started it in Dublin, but it got so big it needed a new home.
Web Summit is organised in different tracks. There are tracks for startups, for scaling companies and for enterprises. It’s a mix of 24 different summits; some focus on software as a service (SaaS), some on compliance and others on next-generation IT, which is primarily the IoT and robots at the moment.
It allows people to get a feel for everything web-based, and any type of new solutions that are coming out. It also has a number of keynote speakers that come in from large organisations, but also innovative startups. It’s always excellent to learn and it’s very good for networking.
Adshead: Could you expand on key themes that emerged with regard to storage and compliance?
Gorge: If I look very briefly at four key things, the first one is startups. There is always a number of them that pitch every day at Web Summit.
There was a trend around solutions to do with health data; how we build solutions that allow consumers to have a full overview of their health status in such a way that it’s available and securely stored on the cloud, and that they can get access to that information anywhere and anytime so they can get treatment anywhere in the world. There were a number of innovative solutions there that were showcased.
The second was security and compliance; new ideas on how we can provide strong authentication and identity management. There was a lot of focus on biometrics, looking at your eyes, fingerprints and a mix of different things.
These are not necessarily groundbreaking, but there was an emphasis that wasn’t there last year. It was coupled with the question of how we store those credentials from a security perspective. Is it stored on the go, in vaults or in dynamic storage? Again, there are a number of startups in that domain.
Focusing on Blockchain
Third is Blockchain. There were a number of keynotes around Blockchains; some around what an initial coin offering is, how it works, why it is good for startups and the industry, and what it allows you to do. It was interesting to see heavy hitters like Tim Draper speaking on the main stage.
Finally, there was the concept of the IoT, focusing on the advent of the first robots coming out in the market and how those devices become intelligent through AI. From a storage and compliance perspective, they accumulate information about humans and our interaction with robots. One of the key questions asked how we make sure this is done in a correct and secure way; as well as how we make sure it is done in compliance with the new EU GDPR, because it’s going to be very hard to track everything.
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Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2015/09/prweb12972612.htm