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Insurance Giants Generali and RGA Join Blockchain Insurance Industry Initiative B3i

by Giulio Prisco

Two major players in the global insurance industry, Generali Group and Reinsurance Group of America (RGA), have announced that they are joining the Blockchain Insurance Industry Initiative B3i to further explore the potential use of distributed ledger technology for the insurance and health ...

American Express Bets Big on the Blockchain, Joins Hyperledger Project

by Giulio Prisco

The Hyperledger Project, a collaborative cross-industry effort led by The Linux Foundation to create an enterprise-grade, open-source distributed ledger technology, announced that American Express has joined the project as a Premier Member. The global financial services giant joins more than 100 ...

Major Wall Street Clearinghouse DTCC to Develop Operational Blockchain Network for Derivatives

by Giulio Prisco

The Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation (DTCC) announced that it has selected IBM, in partnership with Axoni and R3, to provide a distributed ledger technology framework for post-trade derivatives processing, including credit default swaps. The final goal of the project is to develop a ...

Vitalik Buterin Reviews Chain Interoperability Schemes in New R3 Research Paper

by Giulio Prisco

In June Bitcoin Magazine reported that R3, the financial innovation consortium that includes many of the world’s leading banks, commissioned Ethereum creator Vitalik Buterin to write a report on Ethereum design, upcoming technical developments and applications in private systems. R3 published ...

Beyond Bitcoin: Circle Pivots to Next-Gen Blockchain-Enabled Social Payments

by Giulio Prisco

The Wall Street Journal posted a story on December 7, 2017 titled “Bitcoin Powerhouse Will Pull the Plug on Bitcoin.” In fact, “bitcoin bank” Circle Internet Financial announced that, among other developments, it will no longer offer customers the ability to buy and sell bitcoins."Using bitcoin ...

Blockchain Technology's Potential to Enable Real, Sustainable Sharing Economy Apps

by Giulio Prisco

Uber and Airbnb, the hugely popular marketplaces for taxi-like car rides and hotel-like short-term rentals, are usually considered to be successful case stories for the emerging “sharing economy.” Another buzz phrase, “people as a services,” describes the business models of these two companies, ...

PwC Launches Vulcan, a Compliance-Oriented Blockchain for Banks and Governments

by Giulio Prisco

This week, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) launched Vulcan Digital Asset Services, a new blockchain-based platform designed for all sorts of digital transactions. The platform has an emphasis on identity verification and compliance services that, PwC hopes, should make it attractive to banks and ...

Visa Partners with Chain to Process B2B Transactions Globally Using Blockchain Technology

by Giulio Prisco

On October 21, 2016, Visa announced a new partnership with blockchain enterprise company Chain that will develop “a simple, fast and secure way to process B2B payments globally.” Dubbed Visa B2B Connect, the system will offer participating pilot financial institutions a consistent process for ...

Symbiont Unveils Enterprise-Ready Distributed Ledger, Releases ‘Assembly’ Code on Github

by Giulio Prisco

Symbiont announced the release of a software development kit for Assembly, the permissioned distributed ledger component of Symbiont's Smart Securities Platform—a bespoke blockchain independent of Bitcoin and Ethereum. According to the company, Assembly is a distributed ledger designed for use ...

The Hyperledger Project Continues to Grow Rapidly; Executive Director Brian Behlendorf Elaborates on Strategy and Goals

by Giulio Prisco

The Hyperledger Project, a collaborative cross-industry effort to advance blockchain technology led by The Linux Foundation, continues to announce new organizations joining the project to help create an open standard for distributed ledgers for a new generation of transactional applications. The ...

Blockchain Sets a New Standard for Health Record Operability, Says New Research Paper

by Giulio Prisco

A new research white paper, How Blockchain Technology Can Enhance EHR Operability, jointly published by Ark Invest and Gem, makes a thoughtful case for the need to modernize the way electronic patient health records, called EHRs, are accessed and handled across the healthcare industry. According ...

Winners of Health IT Blockchain Challenge Showcase Trends in Privacy, Interoperability and Claims Processing

by Giulio Prisco

Chosen from among more than 70 submissions, recently announced winners of the Blockchain Challenge in Health IT reflect critical developments in encryption, distributed ledger interoperability and smart-contracts claims processing, addressing issues that have long vexed the healthcare industry.A ...

The Fast-Growing Impact of Distributed Ledgers on the Healthcare Sector

by Giulio Prisco

Gem, a provider of enterprise blockchain solutions, recently launched Gem Health, a network for developing applications and shared infrastructure for healthcare powered by the Ethereum blockchain and announced that Philips Blockchain Lab, a research and development center of healthcare giant ...

Mphasis Blockchain Center to Develop Use Cases for India’s Government and Financial System

by Giulio Prisco

Indian IT services and solutions provider Mphasis has launched a Centre of Excellence (CoE) for blockchain-based solutions at its Bangalore headquarters. The Mphasis CoE wants to help enterprises, initially in the mortgage, insurance and payment industries, to swiftly adopt and onboard ...

Deputy Governor: Bank of England Considering Issuing Currency Using a Distributed Ledger

by Giulio Prisco

A recently published Bank of England (BoE) working paper studies the macroeconomic consequences of issuing central bank digital currency (CBDC), a universally accessible and interest-bearing central bank liability, implemented via distributed ledgers, that competes with bank deposits as a medium ...

IBM and Crédit Mutuel Arkéa Announce Identity Verification Project Built on Hyperledger Blockchain

by Giulio Prisco

Earlier this week, Bitcoin Magazine reported that IBM announced the opening of a new Bluemix Garage for cloud blockchain application development in New York. This included a new blockchain project for near-instantaneous payment settlements developed, in partnership, with the IBM Garage in Tokyo, ...

Microsoft Unveils “Project Bletchley” for Enterprise Cloud Blockchain Platforms

by Giulio Prisco

On June 15 Microsoft announced Project Bletchley, which outlines the company’s vision for an “open, modular blockchain fabric powered by Azure,” Microsoft’s cloud computing service and highlights new key elements in enterprise blockchain architecture.The way was paved for the new modular ...

Dynamo Launches Technology Accelerator and Venture Fund for the Supply Chain Sector

by Giulio Prisco

The freight business, not normally thought of as an exciting new frontier, has become one with the advent of blockchain solutions to streamline operations and potentially reap billions in savings. Dynamo is among the startups drawing new talent and investment to the sector, where it hopes to ...

Overstock Plans to Open Blockchain-Based Stock Exchange tØ to Other Publicly Traded Companies

by Giulio Prisco

At the 41st Annual International Futures Industry Conference in March, U.S. online retailer Overstock announced its plan to complete the world’s first public stock offering using proprietary blockchain technology. The offering will allow Overstock shareholders a choice: they can continue to ...

Barclays’ Smart Contract Templates Showcased in First Public Demo of R3 Corda Platform

by Giulio Prisco

Barclays Bank, one of the leading banks that form part of The Distributed Ledger Group consortium led by R3 CEV, a collaborative group of the world’s largest and most influential banks and financial institutions, recently gave the first public demo of the Corda platform. The demo was one of the ...

Scalable Distributed Ledgers Will Enable Pervasive Internet Micropayments

by Giulio Prisco

Before the Web as-we-know-it, there was a conceptual precursor known as Project Xanadu. The brainchild of information technology pioneer, sociologist and maverick philosopher Ted Nelson, Project Xanadu was never fully implemented. However, according to many top computer scientists, the Xanadu ...

How the Blockchain Will Usher in a Future of Frictionless Legal Transactions

by Giulio Prisco

Blockchain technology, the “distributed ledger” in which Bitcoin transactions are recorded, when applied to the information management protocols of the legal profession, has the potential to turn the paperwork delays now endemic to most transactions into quaint memories of how things used to be ...

Smart Contracts Replace Paperwork with Automatic Execution

by Giulio Prisco

Every human interaction is some kind of transaction. A hug conveys affection; a handshake conveys mutual respect or agreement. A contract conveys an offer, acceptance and consideration--something of value transferred from one party to the other. Execution of a contract involves a sequence of ...

Fintech 2.0: Rebooting Financial Services

by Giulio Prisco

In June Santander InnoVentures, the $100 million fintech venture capital fund of Santander Group, Oliver Wyman and Anthemis Group, published a paper titled "The Fintech 2.0 Paper: rebooting financial services." The paper, presented as "a call to action to banks, financial institutions and ...

What is the Blockchain?

by Giulio Prisco

These days it is impossible to read the financial press without often stumbling upon intriguing hints that something called “the blockchain” is going to disruptively revolutionize banking and financial services. So, in this first of a series of introductory articles, we try to explain clearly ...