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Blockchain Newsletter for November: The state of blockchain standards and policies


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Expanding choice for clients on blockchain technology is the key takeaway from IBM’s recent announcement of a beta program to bring R3’s enterprise blockchain platform, Corda Enterprise, to IBM LinuxONE mainframes both on premises and to IBM Cloud. In parallel, IBM Services will establish an R3 center of excellence leveraging IBM Blockchain Services design thinking methods and deep expertise in developing and standing up commercially available production-grade blockchain networks, notes Jason Kelley, General Manager, IBM Blockchain Services.

The collaboration targets enterprises, particularly in highly regulated industries, looking to build blockchain solutions with advanced security and data privacy features. It complements the IBM Blockchain Platform solution built on The Linux Foundation’s open source Hyperledger Fabric to run on any on-premises platform or any cloud, including the highly secured IBM Cloud.

IBM Blockchain Platform and IBM Cloud provide the infrastructure for the world’s first blockchain-based platform for government savings bonds, launched recently by Bank of Thailand and issuing bonds totaling USD 1.6 billion in its first two weeks. The platform allows investors to benefit from speedy bond issuance, reducing a process that previously took 15 days down to two days. Bank of Thailand, the central bank, plans to extend the platform to all government bonds as well as retail investors.

Blockchain in the news

Blockchain standards and policies: Fragmented and growing

As adoption of blockchain technology and digital assets advances in and outside of the cryptocurrency space, people are starting to raise questions while countries and organizations are launching new projects around standards and policies. For example, the “Global Standards Mapping Initiative,” led by the Global Blockchain Business Council and the World Economic Forum is a joint effort to map and assess the current blockchain and digital asset landscape across government, industry and technical standards. One key takeaway from the study: the standards landscape is fragmented both worldwide and within jurisdictions—and it doesn’t look like that will change.

Deploy the IBM Blockchain Platform across multiple environments

In the U.S., the Department of Homeland Security is piloting the development of interoperable blockchain standards and specifications to better monitor trade commodities and digitize credentials. In China, regulators have implemented the country’s first industry standard for security in blockchain technology. It includes 62 provisions and has been approved by the Ministry of Information technology. President Xi Jinping commented publicly that China should be proactively participating in setting global digital currency and digital tax standards.

To help drive adoption of tokenization technology, the nonprofit InterWork Alliance has formed two new member-led business working groups — Distributed Ledger Technology Security and Global Trade and Supply Chain. Both will focus on creating industry standards for the security of tokens used in financial services.

A recent announcement from the Mobile Open Blockchain Initiative (MOBI) illustrates the breadth of the blockchain standards landscape. Honda, GM and MOBI unveiled the first blockchain standard design specifications for integrating electric cars into the power grid so they can store renewable energy. While this consortium may be first out with a standard, they aren’t alone. Toyota, BMW, Nissan and Fiat Chrysler have projects going to explore connecting electric vehicles to grids, as do electric utilities in California and Europe.

Where do you think responsibility lies for blockchain security and technology standards?

What else we’re reading

Blockchain spurs worldwide GDP growth
Blockchain technology has the potential to boost global gross domestic product (GDP) by USD 1.76 trillion over the next decade. So says a new report from PwC, citing five top use cases: provenance, payments and finance, identity, contracts and dispute resolution, and customer engagement.

Putting news releases on blockchain for transparency
Verizon has unveiled a blockchain-based, open source corporate newsroom product called Full Transparency that provides an authoritative record of changes to public communications.

JPMorgan anticipates profitability from blockchain commercialization
JP Morgan Chase has created a new business, called Onyx, to house its blockchain and digital currency efforts, saying the technology is close to making money. The firm also reported that its digital currency, JPM Coin, has been used in commercial transactions to send payments globally.

Blockchain acquisitions signal good health for the industry
This survey of merger and acquisition (M&A) activity reports that the number of deals and deal size are up in 2020. While there’s lots of activity in the cryptocurrency space — including PayPal’s entry into crypto trading — commercial blockchain M&A action is heating up as well.

November’s features of “watch, read and listen”

Blockchain Opportunity Summit

Learn from early blockchain adopters who truly understand the technology’s value and potential. Featured speakers this year are two seasoned blockchain journalists: Michael Casey, Chief Content Officer at CoinDesk, and Rachel Wolfson, staff writer at Cointelegraph and host of the popular podcast The Crypto Chick.

Smartpaper: Healthcare and life sciences: Rising to the moment with blockchain
Read how leading organizations in the healthcare and life sciences industries are using blockchain to help address the world’s most pressing health challenges.

Podcast: Translating enterprise blockchain innovation through art
Multidisciplinary artist Erin Zhao and Nigel Gopie, Director of Artificial Intelligence Applications and Blockchain Marketing at IBM, describe how interconnectedness, transparency and trust intersect in blockchain technology and Erin’s art.

Blog: Blockchain and digital ticketing for venues
Learn how True Tickets is using IBM Blockchain Platform to help a performing arts center safely restart socially distanced outdoor performances with secure contactless ticketing while protecting buyers from ticket scalpers.

Videos: See the art of blockchain innovation
All BlockpARTy episode are now streaming on demand for a limited time. Celebrate blockchain’s transformation of consumer confidence, food safety and more. View original art and hear from leading IBM clients.

Our solutions and how to get started

No matter where you are in your adoption journey or what industry you’re in, we’re here to help you use blockchain technology to reach your business goals.

  • Start that project you’ve been talking about with help from our IBM Blockchain Services, and watch this demo to learn more about how our Design Thinking workshops get you started in the right direction.
  • Join one of our existing networks:
  • Jump start your journey to building your own supply chain ecosystem with IBM Blockchain Transparent Supply or take advantage of a range of reusable solutions on IBM Blockchain Platform.

Still not sure where to start? Schedule time to talk with one of our experts specific to your industry, and they can help guide you in the right direction.

Thanks for reading our November edition of “Blockchain News You Can Use.” We’ll be back next month with more. In the meantime, if someone forwarded you this email and you’d like to subscribe, sign up here.

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