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by Giulio Prisco, Apr 19, 2018

U.K. Institutions Promote Nuggets Blockchain Project for E-Commerce


London

Nuggets, a distributed ledger technology (DLT) startup focused on payment and identity systems, has been endorsed by the United Kingdom’s Department for International Trade, the Mayor of London and the City of London and invited on two major trade visits to China.

“As a blockchain start-up, having the support of these three hugely respected business bodies has been incredible,” wrote Alastair Johnson, founder and CEO of Nuggets, in a Medium post. “It’s such a testament to the rapid progress we’re making in harnessing blockchain technology to give individuals the power to take back control of their personal data while making e-commerce payments." 

Nuggets is developing an e-commerce payments and identity platform that stores users’ personal and payment data securely on the Ethereum blockchain. The users decide if, when and how they want to share their data, which Nuggets itself is unable to access. Nuggets’ stated goal is to give power back to the people by “enabling ‘self-sovereign identity’ on a mass scale.” Another value proposition is that the Nuggets platform could free companies from the burden of storing and protecting millions of customer records.

“Our technology has huge implications for e-commerce markets around the world,” Johnson wrote. “So this added support is a huge boost to helping us establish our business in China. Being able to tap into these powerful networks is fantastic for business development and our growth.”

U.K. and London authorities’ focus on China is part of the plan to establish a new “Golden Era” in the relations between the two countries, with increasing commerce and technology transfer. With Brexit looming ahead, the U.K. is in need of new trade partners, and China seems a sensible bet.

Johnson and other Nuggets representatives recently presented the platform at Tsinghua University in China, and meetings with potential integration partners are underway.

“The news that Nuggets is working with a number of China based businesses is yet another example of how the UK and China can work more closely together in this hugely exciting market,” said Sherry Madera, the City of London Corporation’s special adviser for Asia, according to a press release.

It’s worth noting that e-commerce is exploding in China. The Asian giant has 40 percent of global retail e-commerce, and its mobile payment market is 11 times the size of the U.S. market, Fortune reported in December. 

“Whether we’re talking about transactions, technology, or money, China really stands out,” said McKinsey senior partner Jonathan Woetzel, according to Fortune. “And this is only the beginning for China’s astronomical growth in the e-commerce space.”

At the same time, with the increasing awareness that customers’ personal and payment data are at risk of being stolen or sold, consumers are becoming more privacy conscious. While e-commerce is growing fast, a loss of consumer confidence could seriously harm its further growth prospects. Johnson conceived Nuggets after a personal experience of having his payment details used fraudulently. 

“Nuggets solves this problem, using zero knowledge storage, encryption, privacy, security and trust, all combined with the immutable ledger that’s decentralised,” claims the Nuggets white paper

In other words, Nuggets’ technology addresses important challenges in a sector that is increasingly important for the Chinese economy. This justifies the interest of the U.K. government to promote the company in China. The Department for International Trade will support the company’s business development in China with introductions to potential clients and regulators.

The Nuggets platform will be available via iOS and Android mobile apps, whose alpha versions are being rolled out to prospect users.

“Once you’re set up on the app, you can use Nuggets to pay, login or verify your identity using just your fingerprint (or other biometrics),” reads the Nuggets FAQ. “And every time you do, you earn Nuggets Tokens, which you can spend with any Nuggets partner. 

Nuggets is issuing an ERC-20/223 token on the Ethereum public blockchain network to power its platform. A presale of the NUG token ended earlier this month, and a public sale will start on May 1.