Facebook´s Libra Cryptocurrency is a step backwards compared to Bitcoin

Pic: Cointelegraph

Find below a translation of an interview I gave to Cointelegraph on Facebook´s Libra coin. Full interview in German language here. Interview by Markus Kasanmanscheff

In the USA, for example, the parliamentary committee for financial services has called on Facebook to temporarily stop Libra; more than 30 US lobby associations had previously formulated a similar demand. In other countries such as France, Germany, Russia and Singapore, Libra has so far also met with little approval.

The presentation of the whitepaper of Facebook’s crypto project Libra for a global digital crypto currency has caused a lot of unrest not only in the crypto scene. While the Binance crypto exchange, for example, has a positive attitude towards the planned crypto currency and is even planning to become a node for participation, criticism and warnings are hailing towards Facebook, especially from politicians and supervisory authorities.

To shed some light on the situation, Cointelegraph asked eight renowned crypto experts from German-speaking countries about their views on Facebook Libra. Robert Schwertner (CryptoRobby) explains why Facebook is looking for a “new story” with the Libra project and why the planned Stablecoin is a step backwards compared to Bitcoin and Co.


Libra is not innovative at all

One thing is for sure: Libra is not an ingenious invention of Mark Zuckerberg and his Facebook group, but a logical development of blockchain technology and also of crypto currencies like Bitcoin.

CryptoRobby:

This text is a translated version of Cointelegraph original

In principle, every crypto money is a specialized e-mail or messenger service. Whether you send information as text or as a money message makes hardly any difference. As the world’s largest messenger service group, it is therefore obvious for Facebook to offer a crypto currency and thus support its core business as a social media platform, advertising group and news agency. In general, Facebook seems to have reached its zenith, the younger generation hardly uses Facebook, and user numbers are declining. Facebook urgently needed a new “story”.

However, Libra is not innovative at all. On the contrary, if you read through the technical descriptions, it quickly becomes clear: the centrally controlled Libra Coin is a step backwards compared to Bitcoin, Ethereum and other truly decentralised crypto currencies.

Libra has many enemies

And even before Libra is even in circulation, it is already making many enemies. As a so-called stable coin, Libra is tied to a basket of currencies. Thus price increases and price rises are excluded from the outset. Sounds good, but in practice it can mean that some currencies, especially in emerging and developing countries, can come under pressure because an alternative currency is available that reacts less flexibly.

In Europe, we have learned that the euro can have a negative impact on weaker economies because a state can no longer control its monetary policy, which has led to social unrest like in Greece, for example.

It must therefore be said that the match is not between Libra and Bitcoin, but between central banks, financial supervisors and other financial institutions in the world and the new Libra coin.

Libra has many enemies: central banks feel uncomfortable because a corporation suddenly prints its own money, which means crossing borders radically and losing power and control. This could deprive the state of its monopoly on money printing and monetary policy. Banks are also very critical of Libra because suddenly remittances are made past them.

The fact that Facebook continues to collect enormous amounts of data with Libra alarming. Providing Facebook with our financial date makes us even more transparent. Surveillance Capitalism is being taken to extremes here. Although the Group asserts that the transaction data will not be combined with other social media data, Mark Zuckerberg is under heavy fire in the USA and Europe for the misuse of data.

Regulation necessary


Currently the heated discussions about Libra are helping the other crypto currencies. In the short term, Bitcoin’s share price has risen sharply, and the lagging Altcoins may also correct upwards in the near future.

Another exciting question is: If a private company can suddenly print money, what happens if the company goes bankrupt? To what extent is the currency secured? Since the financial crisis of 2008, we have known that there is a “too big to fail”. Libra’s concept, however, envisages its use by the broad masses, which inevitably makes the crypto currency systemically relevant. But if the service is suddenly discontinued due to the bankruptcy of the companies involved, many people can lose everything they own.

So you have to put Libra in a strong position and that is only possible if regulators find clear rules for the new crypto money.

In India, where Facebook has more users than in the USA, a law is currently being passed prohibiting the use of crypto currencies and punishing them with up to 10 years in prison. This should be a first answer to Libra, further states will follow.

A report that Mark Zuckerberg had already met with the head of the British Central Bank made people sit up and take notice. Although the content of the meeting is not officially known, Libra was quite certainly on the agenda.

It is pleasing that crypto currencies are moved by the discussion around Libra again more into the limelight and humans argue with it increased.

One thing is also clear: there will be digital currencies in the future. It remains to be seen whether they will be put into circulation by states or by private corporations or – as in the case of Bitcoin – by a computer program that cannot be controlled centrally.

More of #CryptoRobby on Twitter @crpytorobby_ and LinkedIn

More on Libra: How Facebook lies about Libra

How Facebook lies about Libra!

#SlapInTheFaceCoin

After months and months of speculation, Facebook has finally revealed the details of its would-be cryptocurrency challenger. However, what looks very revolutionary, is rather to be seen critical !

LibraMyth No 1: A blockchain allows Libra to function

Libra is enabled by what is called in Zuckerberg´s White paper as the “Libra Blockchain” which is described as a “Decentralised Programmable Database”. However, Libra blockchain is a lot but NOT a blockchain. Some of the very important characteristics are missing. Normal blockchains add blocks to the chain. Libra neither uses blocks nor uses a chain! According to their technical paper it will be a “single data structure that records the history of transactions and states over time”.

Facebook wants to define the expression blockchain, because they use technologies associated with blockchains such as Merkle Trees, hashes, and a consensus mechanisms and therefore it should be called blockchain. However, I am very against the fact that Facebook should get to decide what a blockchain is and what not. And furthermore: What Facebook tries to achieve definitely does not need a blockchain at all.

LibraMyth No 2: Libra is decentralised

In the Libra Whitepaper provided, it is stated that Libra is a decentralised system. However, unlike Cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Libra won´t use the Proof of Work consensus mechanism that incentivises miners to keep the network going. Instead Facebook and the other 27 founding partners of the Libra association will run their own nodes that validate Libra transactions. The partners include Uber, PayPal and MasterCard. Each one has paid $10 million for the privilege. Facebook says that Libra will move to a more permissonless system in the future. But we don´ t provide any details on how and when that will happen.

LibraMyth No 3: Libra can reduce payment fees

Fees for transferring moneyare high due to several reasons like political ones or technical which are associated with the complicated process of moving money from one jurisdiction to another. Although it is true that fees for cross-border payments are way toohigh, we already have many companies which try to work on that issue like TransferWise or Revolut. However, as long as the majority of people use US-Dollar or Euro or other FIAT currencies they will have to exchange their money into Libra which will come at a cost, which means: There are transactions costs twice: in and out of Libra.

LibraMyth No 4: Libra protects users from data-based conflicts of interest

Pah! Facebook has created a subsidiary called Calibra through which all its Libra related financial services will be offered. This is the only part of the organisation seeking to be licensed, and the license it is going for is only a money transmission license. This is odd given the system’s ETF-like structure and grander deposit taking aspirations. Calibra promises only to use users’ personal financial data for cross selling purposes if users give them permission to do so. This possibly means Calibra will do everything in its power to incentivise that consent box is clicked.

LibraMyth No 5: Facebook wants to help the Unbanked people

Seriously??? Facebook wants you to think that Libra is about helping the unbanked and the reason for introducing the Libra cryptocurrency introduction shall increase financial inclusion and to bring in the in the 1.7 billion adults around the world who remain outside the banking system. But it´s not clear how the unbanked will be able to buy Libra when these people have no bank account particularly if Libra wants to keep regulators happy by doing proper checks on its users to avoid money laundering. Libra is also unlikely to help people in countries with rapidly depreciating currencies as those countries tend to put in capital controls to prevent a run on their banks. Facebook has never shown interest in the unbanked before, and I am not sure why it´s suddenly so interested.

LibraMyth: No 6 Libra legitimises Bitcoin

Libra calls itself a “low volatility cryptocurrency”, but just as the Libra blockchain isn´t a real blockchain, Libra isn´t a real cryptocurrency either! That´s because it´s issued by a centralised entity, doesn´t run on a real blockchain and rather than being subject to the whims of the cryptomarkets it is pegged to a basked of fiat currencies. So it´s much more akin to something like the Gemini dollar, a stable coin issued by the Winklevoss twins exchange. And it is probably not a coincidence that the twins´ longtime rival Mark Zuckerberg chose another star sign for the name of the coin.

LibraMyth No 7: Libra will comply with all regulations

Libra says its Founding Members are “committed to working with authorities to shape a regulatory environment that encourages technological innovation while maintaining the highest standards of consumer protection”.

Libra says its Founding Members are committed to working with authorities to shape a regulatory environment

Really? Openly stating the intent “to shape a regulatory environment” rather than comply with the existing regulatory environment is a veiled assertion that Facebook is more powerful than the state, and that regulators should have to buckle to its will. While Facebook probably does have some sway over national bodies, to assume it can also sway international regulatory bodies like the BIS — which happen to have a bee in their bonnet about the use and abuse of customer floats by non-banks — is truly ambitious.

Overall the use of words blockchain and cryptocurrency is more about PR value than substance!

And ever thought about the fact that if we have a currency issued by companies: What if these companies are going bankrupt? Are they already TOO BIG TO FAIL? Another interesting aspect is who is NOT part of the consortium: Amazon, Google, Apple. And there is not a single bank! Will talk about that soon!

Sources: Cryptorobby, Alphaville, FinancialTimes

#ReturnOnSociety #Libra #Facebook #LibraLies #LibraMyths #CryptoCurrency #CryptoRobby

Who are the NEW PLAYERS at the Austrian Blockchain Landscape?

The Austrian Blockchain Landscape was initially created in January 2018 by enliteAI and CryptoRobby.  EnliteAI published the Landscape also on their website and there are also Landscapes on AI, VR/AR and more.

The blockchain landscape includes startups, accelerators and universities – as well as a large number of public institutions, initiatives, events and communities. We take this strong backing as a promising sign that the Austrian Blockchain landscape goes well beyond adopting new technology, but is also discussed in a wider societal context.

This updated version v2.1 of July 2019 includes
31 new organisations and projects with a total of 142. 
New companies & institutions are marked with “v2.1”

What´s new:

With Scytale Ventures Austria has now it´s own
Blockchain Venture Captial Fund!

The most interesting finding is that many new startups entered the scene and that quite some new companies in exchange, trading and investing:

  • eloop.to is a e-Car sharing startup, cars are tokenised on the 0bsnetwork.com blockchain
  • element36 combines banks with bank accounts. The company is located in Switzerland with an Austrian founder and team and a branch in Austria.
  • gridsingularity is a very active energy blockchain startup with Austrian founders and the company located in Vienna.
  • helpar is a help-desk blockchain project and startup with the intention to build a world wide technical help-desk with reward token
  • Linx4 provides blockchain based services for banking and insurance. The idea is to receive trustworthy real-time information about machines and production parks.
  • Jaroona creates automated, distributed cybersecurity guardian with the power to protect entire blockchains, DAPPs and personal assets and data

New trading and brokering platforms and liquidity providers are

Cobra cryptocurrency brokerage service

autowhale focusses on market making, blockchain analysis and cryptocurrency and blockchain-related consultancy

Trever is a liquidity provider, which develops services to ensure liquid markets, tradable conditions and decrease market obstacles

insticore  A digital agency, providing  Blockchain educational certification programs together with Lauder Business School and FH Technikum

iQCashNow ATMs for cryptocurrencies

Cryptix offers a new payment token for retail businesses.

Blackmanta Capital offers tokenisation services for enterprises and startups, it has a branch in Austria.

For new law firms are

Binder Grösswang Attorney at Law

Wolf Theiss Lawyers

Lansky Ganzger & Partner Attorney at Law

Wieneroiter Raffling Tenschert & Partner Attorney at Law

New blockchain software developers from Vorarlberg:
4yu Blockchain Tech.at

Lenzing is tracing its fibers on blockchain

Erste Group is active with its Dealfabrix Initiative . The Bank is also active in international blockchain consortia

DiePresse Newspaper has been added to the blockchain as they provide regular detailed content on blockchain and cryptocurrency topics.

‍Some organisations and startups halted their activities and we removed them from the Blockchain Landscape. The really promising car sharing startup DriveDeal.io halted it´s activity. However, their whitepaper is still one of the best on token economics. Minebox has been sold to a New Zealand company. CBDoken.com has been removed as they halted their activities.

Key Findings of 2019, Outlook on 2020

  • We see several Security Token offerings being prepared behind the scenes which will be launched later in 2019 and 2020.
  • With Facebook introducing the Libra cryptocurrency we expect that blockchain technology will receive more attention by large companies especially from banking, insurance and related financial services industry

You’re welcome to reuse the infographic below as long as the content remains unmodified, in full and proper reference to the source is mentioned.

Would you like your company or institution to be included in future updates?  Mail to robert(@)schwertner.com

Blockchain Companies & Startups

Applications

This section contains applications in the energy sector and companies developing closed blockchain systems with for a specific application like ticketing, security, e-commerce, taxation or invoicing.

Consulting

In this section consulting agencies which focus on blockchain related advice are listed.

Crypto Mining

Companies in this category offer either mining hardware or mine for cryptocurrencies.

Development & Software

This box contains important software developers with experience in smart contract programming related coding.

Exchange, Trading, Investing

This category focuses on exchange of crypto currencies, Crypto teller machines, trading and investing in blockchain projects and ICOs.

Legal & Tax

Due to the high activity in the Blockchain space many law firms have experience in setting up and supporting ICOs.

Startup

This section contains applications startups which offer coins, and companies developing closed blockchain systems with for a specific application like ticketing, security, e-commerce, taxation or invoicing.

Enablers & Extended Ecosystem

Universities & Educational Institutions

Austrian universities conduct blockchain both economical and technical research. At the end of 2017 Vienna’s University of Economics and Business launched the Institute of Cryptoeconomics, which will focus on new business models. In addition a number of private institutions offers education and trainings, covering blockchain basics up to investments,  development and business case modelling.

Research

Extra-university research facilities are small in number but contribute substantially to blockchain related science and applied research.

OrganiSations & Communities

Austria has a very large blockchain community with more than 10.000 blockchainers – with local organisations in each province.

Public

Activities from public players is strong in Austria, both in form of initiatives, as well as in pilot projects like open government data.

Media

Four publishing enterprises have been added, they are very active in the crypto sphere and provide specific news and content related to cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology.

Accelerators & Incubators

A healthy blockchain eco-system not only requires developers, finance experts and researchers, but also mentoring and finance from seasoned entrepreneurs. Fortunately, there are accelerators and incubators across the country, often linked with co-working spaces and local organisations.

Conferences

‍Source: EnliteAI & Cryptorobby
Feedback: robert(@)schwertner.com

Austrian Post Launches World´s First Crypto Stamp

The Austrian Post has presented the world’s first blockchain stamp. With this release Austria´s largest mail delivery service links the analog and the digital era.

On June 11, 2019 the blockchain-based stamp has officially been presented to prominent guests in Vienna by the Head of Product Management at Austrian Post AG branches Stefan Nemeth.

It can as well be fully used for the carriage of a postal item, and also as a virtual collector’s item. The digital complement is securely stored on the Ethereum blockchain, which is an extraordinary type of decentralised and distributed data storage, and it falls in what is called digital purse known as a Wallet that is absolutely preserved by the real owner.

Brand Block Resembles a Bank Card

When you look at this brand block, it is in the form of a bank card. On the right side of the block, there is all crucial identifications concealed under scratch layers (scratched off in the pic already it shows a sample key). The Wallet holder has full access to the code and all other attached codes including the “Secret Word List,” thus possesses the digital stamp. When the crypto stamp is transferred from one particular wallet to another, then the transaction is effectively documented and accepted in the blockchain.

And the left-hand side is the real postage stamp which can be sent often by flouting the block apart at the encoded breaking point. Unicorn, a beast with one long horn protruding from its forehead, is pictured on the crypto stamp and is the heraldic ceremonial animal of the entire Ethereum community. 

It is absolutely crazy and awesome at the same time. The Austrian Post Office released a crypto stamp 6 days ago and complete sets already sold for 999 USD each on ebay. In Austria there even were sales for over 1000 Euros just for the red stamp alone. The yellow and blue stamps also reached high prices. So what is this all about? Why is this physical collectible so highly sought after and what actually is a crypto stamp???

1. THE CRYPTO STAMP IN GENERAL

Well it is quite simple: the Austrian Post Office decided to give Cryptos some Kudos and brought the world a real-world-use-case. They simple created the VERY FIRST CRYPTO STAMP worldwide. The stamp is limited and just 150K are made. But there is more! The stamp exists in a physical-analog form AND in a digital form. In its physical form the stamps look all the same, but if we scan the QR code, we can see the actual color of the stamp. There are FIVE DIFFERENT COLORS and every color has a different limitation. Austrian Post has developed an affinity for cryptocurrencies and blockchain in recent years. After cooperation with cryptocurrency exchante Bitpanda (sale of cryptocurrencies in branches) and Coinfinity (Bitcoin machines), the post has now entered a third cooperation with a crypto firm. The world’s first cryptocurrency and blockchain postage stamp, developed together with blockchain experts of Capacity  has just been introduced to the market.

The five different colours:

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RED VERSION: limited to 1,500 pieces

YELLOW VERSION: limited to 10,000 pieces

BLUE VERSION: limited to 20,000 pieces

GREEN VERSION: limited to 40,000 pieces

BLACK VERSION: limited to 78,500 pieces

Ethereum blockchain

When purchased, the stamp set comes in two parts. As pictured in the first image, the left part, which shows a #unicorn associated with Ethereum, functions as a standard stamp that can be used to send mail. The QR code shows the digital color and the limitation. The right section, on the other hand, contains a unique identifier and is concealed under scratch layers. The code is used to save the stamp on the Ethereum Blockchain, the digitised and unique stamp is then available in an Ether-Wallet and can be transferred to another one. The amount of ETH per stamp is around 0.001666666 ETH!

Almost sold out in 14 days!

When I checked the online shop, the stamps were almost SOLD OUT – and this after 14 days. What does this show us? CRYPTO has arrived in the heads of the people and a lot of collectors and crypto lovers want to have a PIECE OF CRYPTO HISTORY in their hands.

It is incredible! The crypto community and other stamp collectors really want a piece of this first limited stamp and it seems this is because of the fact that it is ONE OF A KIND. Never before an analog AND digital stamp was produced. On Ebay complete sets sold for 999 USD each. So far I could spot around 3-4 sales.

Crazy prices on ebay:

On ebay the new crypto stamp went viral. Several offers for a red stamp are above 1000,- EUR. There is even one for 9,989 EUR:

Link https://www.ebay.at/itm/CRYPTO-STAMP-Rot-Red-Edition-limitiert-1500-Stuck-WORLDWIDE-Ethereum-NEW/233261845200?hash=item364f7d4ad0:g:S6YAAOSwX4FdCIL7

Also yellow and blue stamps have high prices and I thought, I have to dig deeper. At ebay Germany and Austria a lot of offers can be found.

Conclusion

It´s quite interesting how two world´s are combined with the crypto stamp. The classic conservative philately world of old fashioned stamp collectors with the new world of crypto enthusiasts and blockchain geeks. At least it is for sure, that this stamp is just amazing and I really like the idea. The fact, that a part of the stamps will be used is also cool, because many people will throw them away because they have no clue what it is. So the stamps will be even more limited and the best is: the cryptos on it are LOST, if nobody uses the keys.

THE FUTURE IS NOW: Forbes top 50 Blockchain giants!

Willem De Kooning – Untitled. For me it looks like spring.

Article by Forbes, Michael del Castillo – edited and supplemented by [CryptoRobby]

Although still #CryptoWinter, it’s early spring for new business applications using #blockchain technology.

Walmart is using blockchain technology to track shipments from its suppliers and reduce the risks of food spoilage and contamination. It has already filed 50 blockchain-related patents. 

Seagate, a hard drive producer is using the tech to catch and prevent counterfeiters.

Metlife can now pay claims instantly to its expectant mothers who test positive for diabetes.

According to International Data Corp, total corporate and government spending on blockchain should hit €2.6 billion in 2019, an increase of 89% over the previous year, and reach € 10.6 billion by 2022. When PwC surveyed 600 execs last year, 84% (!!!) said their companies are involved with blockchain.

Allianz SE Germany

The insurance giant has been testing blockchain for a variety of products. For example, a joint venture that sells flight-delay insurance has used a smart contract that initiates a claim as soon as a flight is delayed by a set period of time. The customer gets a notification on his smartphone, enters his bank account details and payment is made.

Amazon US Seattle

Amazon Web Services offers blockchain tools to help companies that want to use distributed ledger technology but don’t want to develop it themselves. It’s a clever way to maintain its dominance in cloud computing, Amazon’s most profitable business line, with a 2018 operating profit of $7.3 billion. Cloud clients using its tools include Change Healthcare, which helps manage payments among hospitals, insurers and patients; Guardian Life Insurance; HR software provider Workday; and securities clearinghouse DTCC.

Key leader: Rahul Pathak, general manager of Amazon Managed Blockchain at AWS

Anheuser-Busch InBev – Belgium

The brewing giant is involved in a pilot program in the San Francisco Bay Area where consumers upload their driver’s license information to a blockchain and can then buy beer at a vending machine simply by scanning their phone. In Africa, the world’s fastest-growing beer market, AB InBev has a partnership with BanQu that uses blockchain to provide pricing info and payments to farmers lacking bank accounts. That could make it possible for the company to work faster, and with more farmers, to ramp up its African operations.

Key leader: Tassilo Festetics, VP of global solutions

Ant Financial, Hangzhou China

Fintech power Ant Financial has developed a proprietary blockchain that is used, among other things, to keep tabs on the products sold on a marketplace run by Alibaba, a part owner of Ant. For example, customers can trace a diamond’s sourcing back to a trading center in Antwerp and see grading, cutting and polishing records. Separately, in June 2018, Ant’s payment app, Alipay (with a billion-plus users worldwide), launched a blockchain-based service offering money transfers directly between people in Hong Kong and the Philippines that can be completed in just seconds.

Blockchain platforms: Ant Blockchain

Key leader: Geoff Jiang, VP of Ant Financial

BBVA Bilbao, Spain

Last November, Spain’s second-largest bank announced its first blockchain-based syndicated loan, a $170 million deal for Red Eléctrica Corporación, Spain’s electrical grid operator. With nearly $5 trillion in loans being syndicated worldwide each year, the transparency, security and efficiency of blockchain could make a big difference.

Blockchain platforms: Hyperledger Fabric, Corda, public Ethereum

Key leader: Carlos Kuchkovsky, CTO, new digital business

Bitfury Amsterdam, Netherlands

While $500 million (revenues) Bitfury is still best known for selling hardware for bitcoin mining, it is now also building blockchain services for enterprise customers. In 2017, it launched the Exonum blockchain, designed specifically to make it easier for enterprises to use the bitcoin blockchain. One early customer, the Republic of Georgia, is using Exonum to record and transfer land ownership.

Blockchain platforms: Exonum, Bitcoin

Key leadership: Valery Vavilov, CEO and cofounder

BNP Paribas Paris, France

When Rio Tinto sells iron ore to Cargill, the food giant doesn’t pay right away; instead it presents a bank’s letter of credit. BNP Paribas is trying to move letters of credit from paper to a secure distributed ledger. In November 2018 Paribas worked with HSBC Singapore to complete the first fully digitized letter-of-credit transaction. Commodities finance dates back to 4,000 B.C. Sumer, and old-line banks like France’s BNP Paribas dominate. Maintaining a digital edge in this business is a matter of survival.

Blockchain platforms: Corda, Hyperledger Fabric, Ethereum

Key leader: Jacques Levet, head of transaction banking for Europe, Middle East and Africa

BP PLC London

Like BNP Paribas, BP is investing in blockchain technology to improve the efficiency of commodities trade finance. It’s a founding member of Vakt, a blockchain platform that aims to digitize parts of energy trading that remain slow, such as contracts and invoicing. So far, BP has invested more than $20 million in blockchain projects.

Blockchain platforms: Ethereum, Cardano, Quorum

Key leader: Julian Gray, technology director, Digital Innovation Organization

Broadridge New York City

This little-known ADP spinoff controls 80% of the U.S. proxy-voting and shareholder-communications business. Broadridge has a team working to move its core proxy-voting services to a distributed ledger, allowing stockholders to cast their own votes on corporate resolutions and directors in real time—without going through the custodial banks that hold the shares. Broadridge is an investor, alongside banks such as BNP and Citi, in Digital Asset Holdings, which played a key role in the development of private blockchain ledgers.

Blockchain platforms: Hyperledger Fabric, DAML, Quorum

Key leader: Michael Tae, head of strategy

Bumble Bee Foods San Diego

Thanks to help from developers at SAP, Bumble Bee is using a blockchain to provide complete transparency to its tuna supply chain all the way from the pole-and-line-catch fishermen sailing the South Pacific to grocery stores in the United States. Given current concerns about food safety and sustainability, instilling confidence in its albacore product is paramount. Moreover, the entire tuna industry has been targeted by environmental activists for killing dolphins. The company that can demonstrate provenance of its catch could demand a premium price.

Blockchain platform: Multichain Key leader: Tony Costa, CIO

Cargill Wayzata, Minnesota

The agricultural giant that popularised high-fructose corn syrup began testing Intel’s Hyperledger Sawtooth before Thanksgiving 2017 to track turkeys through its supply chain as they made their way from farm to supermarket. Cargill has committed a team of engineers to work with Intel and enterprise blockchain startup Bitwise to help build Hyperledger Grid, which will track food back to its source—a crucial step in this day of food-contamination scares. By getting in on the ground floor with this Grid, Cargill could be in a position to sell its expertise to other suppliers.

Blockchain platforms: Hyperledger Sawtooth, Hyperledger Grid

Key leader: Keith Narr, VP, Cargill Digital Labs

Ciox Health Alpharetta, US

As the biggest manager of medical records in the U.S. (its software is used to securely transfer records between healthcare providers), Ciox figures the blockchain could cut paperwork redundancies, reduce medical mistakes and provide it a new source of subscription income. It has established a team to evaluate which blockchain platform to build on.

Blockchain platform: Ethereum

Key leader: Florian Quarre, chief digital officer

Citigroup New York City

The bank has invested in a half-dozen startups (Digital Asset Holdings, Axoni, SETL, Cobalt DL, R3 and Symbiont) developing blockchains and distributed ledgers for applications such as securities settlement, credit derivative swaps and insurance payments. Last year, Citi partnered with Barclays and software infrastructure provider CLS to launch LedgerConnect, an app store where companies can shop for blockchain tools.

Blockchain platform: Ethereum

Key leader: Puneet Singhvi, managing director

Coinbase San Francisco

With more than 20 million users and a valuation of $8 billion, Coinbase is the dominant U.S. cryptocurrency exchange. It offers custody, wallet services and both retail and institutional trading platforms. The blue chip among crypto-first financial firms is poised to become even more dominant when institutional usage of blockchain grows.

Blockchain platforms: Bitcoin, Ethereum, XRP, Lumen

Key leader: Brian Armstrong, CEO; his Coinbase holdings make him a billionaire

Comcast Philadelphia

Comcast owns MState, a venture capital firm that has invested in at least seven enterprise blockchain startups, including Blockdaemon, which builds software to help enterprises build applications that use Bitcoin and Ethereum and comply with current regulations (for example, from the SEC or protecting healthcare privacy). Last December, Comcast partnered with competitors Viacom and Spectrum Reach to launch Blockgraph, which aims to allow advertisers to precisely target ads to viewers, without disclosing viewers’ personal information to those advertisers.

Blockchain platforms: Bitcoin, Ethereum, Hyperledger Fabric, Quorum

Key leader: Gil Beyda, managing director, Comcast Ventures

CVS Health Woonsocket, RI

New CVS subsidiary Aetna is a member of IBM’s Health Utility Network, a group (including Cigna and Anthem) working to create a distributed ledger of information available to patients, providers and insurers. As its first project, the network plans to publish tamperproof, unforgeable medical credentials so patients can check out their doctors. Other projects being considered would combine data from different insurers to make it easier to share information between doctors and insurers and prevent prescriptions that conflict, with the aim of improving care while cutting costs.

Blockchain platforms: IBM Blockchain, Hyperledger Indy, Hyperledger Sawtooth

Key leader: Claus Torp Jensen, CTO of both CVS and Aetna

The Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation Jersey City

A warehouse of sorts that provides custody, clearing and settlement for $1.85 quadrillion in transactions per year, DTCC is planning to move its $10 trillion-a-year credits derivatives tracking operation to a customized blockchain. If the new system, scheduled to launch by the end of the year, is successful, it could eliminate massive record redundancies and prove that centralized middlemen have a place in a decentralized ledger world.

Blockchain platform: Axcore

Key leader: Rob Palatnick, chief technology architect

Facebook Menlo Park, CA

In January 2018, CEO Mark Zuckerberg disclosed in his annual statement that the social media giant was studying cryptocurrency’s potential. In May of that year he moved former PayPal president and Coinbase board member David Marcus from his position as vice president of messaging to head up a secretive team exploring blockchain and its applications. This past February, Zuckerberg told Harvard law professor Jonathan Zittrain he was interested in letting users log in to websites with blockchain-based identities instead of Facebook Connect—a change that could have big implications for the way Facebook monetizes its users’ info.

Blockchain platforms: Unknown

Key leader: David Marcus, blockchain lead

Fidelity – Boston, US

The 73-year-old fund giant began mining bitcoin in 2015 as a way to learn about digital assets. This year, it launched a custody service for institutional investors who want to store bitcoin securely. It’s also building a trading platform that allows a large block of crypto to be purchased by executing orders across multiple exchanges. About 100 Fidelity employees are now devoted to digital assets. Having originally missed the ETF explosion, Fidelity will be at the forefront if crypto-assets go mainstream.

Blockchain platforms: Bitcoin, Ethereum

Key leader: Tom Jessop, president, Fidelity Digital Assets

Foxconn Taipei, Taiwan

The giant Chinese manufacturer has pilot projects under way that use blockchain to streamline supply chain transactions and provide working capital to suppliers. Separately, it is developing a blockchain-enabled smartphone that would make it easier for consumers to spend digital coins.

Blockchain platform: Ethereum

Key leader: Jack Lee, founding managing partner of venture arm HCM Capital

Golden State Foods Irvine, CA

This restaurant supplier is participating in IBM’s Food Trust, a consortium of companies aiming to track food along the entire supply chain. In one early application, Golden State is giving all the companies involved in its burger business—from meat processors to shippers to restaurants—access to streaming data about the temperature at which the beef is kept. In addition to improving food safety, such projects could reduce both paperwork and food spoilage, which is estimated to cost $7 billion annually in North America alone, before it reaches the consumer.

Blockchain platform: IBM Blockchain

Key Executives: Bob Wolpert, chief strategy and innovation officer

Google Mountain View, CA

The search giant has made numerous investments in blockchain, including Veem, a payments startup that lets enterprises instantly send and receive payments in different currencies, using bitcoin as an intermediary holding. Meanwhile, it has created a suite of tools that make it easier to search (and analyze) cryptocurrency transactions—in other words, to Google public blockchains.

Blockchain platforms: Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum Classic, Litecoin, Zcash, Dogecoin, Dash

Key leader: Allen Day, science advocate

HPE – San Jose, CA

The $31 billion (revenue) enterprise tech spin-off from Hewlett-Packard hopes to make a splash with its blockchain services. It already counts more than a dozen customers, including car-part manufacturer Continental, which will use HPE’s tech to track a vehicle’s location and a driver’s license and insurance. That could be useful as more Americans move from owning a car to renting one by the hour or month.

Blockchain platforms: Corda, Ethereum, Quorum, Sia, Hyperledger Fabric

Key leader: Raphael Davison, worldwide director of blockchain

HTC – Taoyuan, Taiwan

The company recently released Exodus 1, a new smartphone that provides crypto-owners a safer way (built in to the phone’s hardware) to store and recover lost Bitcoin, Litecoin and ethereum, as well as the ability to easily trade cryptocurrencies. The phone also has a special Web browser designed for sites built on the blockchain. With its dismal smartphone market share, HTC’s new phone may be a Hail Mary pass.

Blockchain platforms: Bitcoin, Ethereum

Key leader: Phil Chen, decentralized chief officer

IBM – Armonk, NY

Blockchain’s early advocate is working to commercialize the technology through its enterprise-grade version of Hyperledger Fabric, called IBM Blockchain. Other IBM launches include World Wire, a foreign exchange platform seeking to replace interbank messaging platform Swift, and TradeLens, a shipping supply chain service codeveloped with shipping giant Maersk. IBM has already filed for more than 100 blockchain patents. With its proprietary blockchain connecting companies in at least 85 networks, IBM is a clear enterprise winner.

Blockchain platforms: IBM Blockchain, Stellar, Hyperledger Burrow, Sovrin

Key leader: Bridget van Kralingen, SVP, global industry platforms and blockchain

ING – Amsterdam

The Dutch banking giant has launched eight pilots since the creation of its dedicated blockchain team in 2016. In January 2018, ING and Credit Suisse executed the first legally enforceable euro securities swap using R3’s blockchain. The bank has also invested in several blockchain ventures, including Komgo, which plans to use the Ethereum blockchain to streamline a wide range of transactions.

Blockchain platforms: Corda, Quorum, Hyperledger Fabric, Hyperledger Indy

Key leader: Mariana Gomez de la Villa, program director of distributed ledger technology

Intel – Santa Clara, US

Like IBM, Intel is one of the bigger corporate forces pushing blockchain into the enterprise market. Its open-source Hyperledger Sawtooth platform lets companies build their own blockchains. Users include Cargill, T-Mobile and the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange. Still, IBM is way ahead.

Blockchain platforms: Corda, Ethereum, Hyperledger Fabric, Hyperledger Sawtooth

Key leader: Michael Reed, director, blockchain program

JPMorgan – Chase New York City

The nation’s largest bank is one of the creators of Quorum, a restricted version of the Ethereum blockchain built especially for enterprises looking to move tasks performed by back-office middlemen to the distributed ledger. It recently announced JPM Coin, an early-stage project to enable real-time institution-to-institution payments.

Blockchain platform: Quorum

Key leader: Christine Moy, blockchain lead

Maersk – Copenhagen

Transactions for shipping goods from one port to another still rely on reams of paperwork, as they did centuries ago. Last year, IBM and Maersk, one of the world’s largest shippers, announced plans to create TradeLens, a global blockchain for shippers. So far, 100 organizations, including ports, freight forwarders, sea and land carriers, and customs agencies, have signed up to use the platform.

Blockchain platforms: IBM Blockchain, Corda

Key leader: Michael J. White, head of TradeLens

Mastercard – Purchase, NY

The credit card behemoth has applied for 80 blockchain-related patents. Sixteen have been granted, including one for linking cryptocurrencies to traditional bank accounts and another for increasing the privacy of blockchains. Mastercard rarely comments on its blockchain ambitions, but it recently announced it’s working with Amazon and Accenture to build more transparent supply chains where, for example, someone buying a pair of jeans could see where they were made and tip the creator through Mastercard’s payment rails. More significantly, if Mastercard can tie its massive, high-speed payments network to blockchain-based payments, it can open a new revenue stream and solve a problem that plagues most blockchain technology: processing times are still slow.

Blockchain platform: Its own platform, built from scratch.

Key leader: Ken Moore, EVP and head of Mastercard Labs

MetLife – New York City, US

Through MetLife’s incubator, LumenLab, the insurer has developed a mobile app called Vitana, that is using ethereum’s smart contracts to automatically pay claims in certain circumstances.

Blockchain platform: InsureChain built on Ethereum

Key leader: Zia Zaman, CIO of MetLife Asia

Microsoft – Redmond, US

Last year, Microsoft’s cloud unit Azure launched Azure Blockchain Workbench, a tool for developing blockchain apps. Many templates are available for free, but if an organization builds or runs an app or network on Azure, Microsoft charges for the underlying cloud services. Blockchain Workbench customers include Insurwave, Webjet, Xbox, Bühler, Interswitch, 3M and Nasdaq.

Blockchain platforms: Ethereum, Parity, Quorum, Corda, Hyperledger Fabric

Key leader: Mark Russinovich, CTO of Microsoft Azure

Nasdaq – New York City, US

Distributed ledgers could theoretically eliminate the need for centralized exchanges, but Nasdaq has hedged its bets by immersing itself in the new industry. For example, it has sold its market-surveillance software to seven crypto exchanges and a blockchain eVoting product to the South African central securities depository. Nasdaq has also brought together eight Swedish companies to develop a blockchain to replace the current paper-driven trading process in the Swedish mutual fund market.

Blockchain platforms: Symbiont, Corda, Hyperledger Fabric

Key leader: Johan Toll, head of digital assets, market technology

Nestle – Vevey, Switzerland

Over the last two years the $92 billion (sales) consumer goods giant has been testing blockchain technology in more than ten projects. Its most promising is with IBM Food Trust, where it is using blockchain to track the provenance of food ingredients in a handful of products, including Gerber baby food. That service is expected to be available in Europe later this year. Food-borne illnesses cost the U.S. $55 billion a year and can cripple a brand. Blockchain food tracking could reduce that cost and be a selling point for brands that participate.

Blockchain platform: IBM Blockchain

Key leader: Benjamin Dubois, manager of digital transformation

Northern Trust – Chicago US

The big asset servicer ($10.1 trillion) is using Hyperledger Fabric to handle the administration of private equity fund events, including initial sales and liquidations of fund investments. Northern Trust is also helping hedge funds track their crypto investments and is working with the Australian Securities Exchange on a blockchain-based equities clearing, settlement and custody platform. Last year, it helped the World Bank execute a $79 million bond issue via the Ethereum blockchain.

Blockchain platforms: Hyperledger Fabric, Ethereum

Key leader: Justin Chapman, head of market advocacy and research

Oracle Redwood Shores, CA

The database and cloud company is offering “business-ready” blockchain software in an effort to keep customers of its non-blockchain products from defecting to upstarts and rivals like Google and Microsoft. One of Oracle’s customers, China Distance Education Holdings, is sharing student educational records and professional certifications across institutions to help employers and recruiters verify that credentials aren’t fraudulent.

Blockchain platform: Oracle Blockchain Platform

Key leader: Frank Xiong, group vice president, Blockchain Development Platform

Overstock – Midvale, US

The online discount store became the first major retailer to accept bitcoin in 2014. Founder and CEO Patrick Byrne, a libertarian with a Ph.D. in philosophy, is so convinced that blockchain will change the world that he is trying to get out of the retail business altogether and is already remaking Overstock into something of a crypto-obsessed company. Most notably, he has used $200 million in Overstock’s cash to fund Medici Ventures, a subsidiary which has invested in 19 blockchain companies.

Blockchain platforms: Bitcoin, Ethereum, RVN, Florin

Key leader: Patrick Byrne, founder and CEO of Overstock

PNC – Pittsburgh, US

The bank is using Ripple’s XRP blockchain-based software to process international payments. It is also the only bank involved with IBM’s Health Utility Network, which is attempting to speed insurance company payments to health providers.

Blockchain platforms: Hyperledger Fabric, DAML, Corda, Ripple

Key leader: J. Christopher Ward, EVP and head of Treasury product management

Ripple – San Francisco

This startup aims to disrupt Swift, the messaging system the worlds’ banks use to transfer an estimated $6 trillion a day, with RippleNet, with aims to be cheaper, faster and more transparent. While it already has 200 customers for its service, Ripple funds operations (including 300 employees) by selling about $100 million a quarter of its own cryptocurrency, XRP. (XRP’s total market cap now stands at $13 billion, down from its $146.5 billion all-time high in 2018.) RippleNet customers include big names such as Santander, American Express and PNC.

Blockchain platform: XRP Ledger

Key leader: Brad Garlinghouse, CEO

Samsung – Seoul, South Korea

Samsung is using its Nexledger blockchain platform to overhaul how its battery-manufacturing subsidiary manages contracts and the execution of those contracts. For Korean consumers it has developed a smartphone app that uses the blockchain to verify the identity of the phone’s owner to 15 of the nation’s banks. That eliminates the inconvenience of Korea’s 20-year-old identity verification system, which can require a tedious signup process for each bank.

Blockchain platforms: Nexledger, Ethereum

Key leader: Jeanie Hong, SVP and head of Blockchain Center

Santander – Madrid, Spain

The Spanish banking giant made headlines last year when it allowed its investors to vote at its annual meeting via the blockchain. A year ago, Santander launched mobile app One Pay FX, a foreign exchange service using RippleNet, that enables individuals to transfer money to other individuals in a foreign country in less than a day.

Blockchain platforms: RippleNet, Hyperledger Fabric

Key leader: María de la Concepción de Monteverde, director of the Blockchain Center of Excellence

SAP SE – Walldorf, Germany

SAP has developed its own cloud-based blockchain toolkit, Leonardo, to keep clients from moving to Oracle or IBM as they transition to distributed ledger technology. It’s also selling project development as a service—most notably, it built Bumble Bee Foods’ new blockchain, designed to trace the origin of tuna from fisherman to processor to consumer.

Blockchain platform: Hyperledger Fabric, MultiChain, Quorum

Key leader: Raimund Gross, chief innovation strategist, Blockchain

Seagate Technology – Cupertino, US

Data-storage company Seagate Technology is working with IBM on a proof-of-concept blockchain aimed at tracking products through their distribution and life—in large part to ensure that fake hard drives aren’t returned to Seagate’s warehouses, where they could be resold by accident. Counterfeiting of electronics is a $100 billion problem, and Seagate hard drives are a frequent target for fraud.

Blockchain platform: Hyperledger Fabric

Key leader: Manuel Offenberg, managing technologist and data security research lead

Siemens – Munich, Germany

In Park Slope, Brooklyn, some residents with Siemens solar panels had more energy than they could use on sunny days. The Brooklyn Microgrid project, run off a private blockchain, allows those with excess power to sell energy to their neighbors. The German giant has a lot of skin in this game, with $28 billion a year in revenues from things like energy turbines and applications managing smart grids. Grid technology has been decentralizing and democratizing power generation; blockchain can accelerate that process.

Blockchain platforms: Ethereum, Hyperledger Fabric, Corda

Key leader: Bernd Rosauer, head of research, Technology Field IT Platforms

Signature Bank – New York City, US

Signature was the first FDIC-insured bank to develop a blockchain-based digital payments platform. SignetTM allows the bank’s commercial clients to send free, secure payments to other commercial clients of the bank at any time of day with no transaction limits, in as little as five seconds. It uses a token, the signet, backed by U.S. dollars. American PowerNet, a Signature Bank client, recently chose SignetTM to make real-time payments to renewable energy providers.

Blockchain platform: A private, Ethereum-based blockchain

Key leader: Frank Santora, senior vice president and director of digital asset solutions

State Farm – Bloomington, US

The insurer has devoted 11 members of its Research, Experiment & Deploy (RED) Labs in Bloomington to developing a blockchain that could speed up the now painfully slow process by which insurers pay claims to policyholders and then seek partial reimbursement from other insurers involved with the claim. State Farm is working with RiskBlock Alliance on an application that could speed up this claims dance.

Blockchain platforms: Hyperledger Fabric, Corda, Quorum

Key leader: Mike Fields, innovation executive at State Farm RED Labs

UBS – Zurich, Switzerland

The Swiss bank’s most ambitious project so far is Utility Settlement Coin (USC), which would allow central banks to use digital cash instead of their own currencies to move money to each other. It’s a bold play—if central bankers start using crypto for big transfers with each other, it could make them more willing to move their own national currencies onto a blockchain. UBS’ partners in USC include BNY Mellon, Deutsche Bank and Santander.

Blockchain platforms: Hyperledger Fabric, Ethereum, Quorum, Corda

Key leader: Sam Chadwick, head of blockchain

Visa – San Francisco, US

The credit card network has filed for 50 blockchain patents, ranging from a real-time payments settlement system to technology related to crypto trading. This year, Visa is launching B2B Connect, which uses blockchain to help banks around the world process cross-border, business-to-business payments. With $18 trillion in such B2B payments being made a year, gaining even a small chunk of this business would be a nice addition to Visa’s consumer-payment dominance.

Blockchain platform: Hyperledger Fabric .

Key leader: Kevin Phalen, global head of business solutions

VMware – Palo Alto, US

The cloud-infrastructure company will soon release a suite of blockchain software products called VMware Blockchain, developed in partnership with Deloitte and Dell. The first product will be one that allows data to be transferred securely. Next up is a service that verifies transactions on the blockchain.

Blockchain platforms: Project Concord, a new blockchain, which supports multiple frameworks such as Ethereum

Key leader: Mike DiPetrillo, senior director, Blockchain

Walmart – Bentonville, US

The world’s largest retailer (by sales) has filed for about 50 blockchain patents (for everything from tracking shipments to operating drones) and wants to use the blockchain to quickly pinpoint the culprit in future food-safety scares. In 2016 it partnered with Big Blue to create IBM Food Trust, now being tested by more than 50 companies. Today Walmart can track 25 products, including strawberries, yogurt and chicken, from five suppliers (and counting). In September 2018, it said it would begin requiring all of its lettuce and spinach suppliers to log their shipments on the blockchain.

Blockchain platform: Hyperledger Fabric

Key leader: Karl Bedwell, senior director, Global Business Services & Technology

World Blockchain Landscapes 2019



The Blockchain Ecosystem is growing worldwide. We have collected some of the blockchain landscapes and discovered that they vary in quality.

The Austrian Blockchain Landscape has been updated in October 2018 by enliteAI and CryptoRobby

We also found different other Blockchain Landscapes which you find below. However, many countries and we hope that new overview emerge.


Swiss Blockchain Newcomers of 2018!

Israeli Blockchain Landscape:



Netherlands Blockchain Landscape 2018:



UK Blockchain Landscape 2018:

Vietnam Blockchain Landscape:



Candadian Blockchain Landscape:

If you find more blockchain landscapes we will publish them here too. Please text me via www.cryptorobby.blog

Does China ban Cryptocurrencies?

New anti-anonymity regulations for blockchain firms

The Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC), the official internet regulator organisation, has introduced new anti-anonymity regulations for blockchain firms that are operating in the country. The announcement was published on the CAC website on Thursday, January 10th 2019.

Not surprisingly the CAC guidelines “…contribute to the healthy development of the industry.” and will enter into force on February 15th, 2019.

Let´s have a closer look: The document describes the firms that are subject to regulations as websites or mobile apps that provide information and technical support to the public using blockchain technologies. As soon as the regulations come into power, they will be obliged to register their names, domains and server addresses at the CAC within 20 days.

Official announcement of Cyberspace Administration of China:

The guidelines require blockchain startups to allow authorities access to stored data, and to introduce registry procedures that would require ID card or mobile numbers from its users. Moreover, they will be obliged to oversee content and censor information that is prohibited under current Chinese law.

If a firm fails to comply with the regulations, it might face fines from 20,000 to 30,000 yuans (€2.600 and € 4.000). In case of serial offences, the company might face a criminal investigation.

China first released draft guidelines in October 2018 for blockchain companies, which also contained recommendations that sought to eliminate anonymity in blockchain.

At the time, Asian newspaper The South China Morning Post wrote about an anonymous open letter that alleged sexual harassment at a top Chinese university that was published on the Ethereum (ETH) blockchain in April. The media outlet believes the publication of the letter could be a motivation behind the new regulations.

China is currently mainly piloting blockchain legislation in the three regions Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou. According to a December report by local finance publication Securities Daily, there are 11 blockchain-related policy projects concentrated in these areas.

In the meantime, the country has upheld a de facto ban on domestic crypto trading since 2017, which was completed in February 2018 when the government added international crypto exchanges and initial coin offering websites (ICOs) to its Great Firewall.

Chinese government shall have complete control over the information published on any blockchain in China; that users cannot be anonymous; and that blockchain providers need to start showing their users formal terms and conditions and service agreements that highlight the responsibilities of each party.

Here are some rules roughly translated from the Chinese version:

  1. All blockchain providers within China are required to operate according to these standards. The Internet Information Office of each relevant region will be responsible for enforcing the laws.
  2. Self-policing will be encouraged. It is preferred that everyone working on or with blockchain in China will be urged to get acquainted with and apply the new rules.
  3. Blockchain providers must be able to control the blockchain, including the ability to remove illegal content from the blockchain and control what kind of information is published on it.
  4. Blockchain providers will be required to collect personal identification information from blockchain users, based on their company, ID card number or mobile phone numbers. Blockchain providers cannot serve anonymous users.
  5. Blockchain providers will be required to codify the terms and conditions of their platform, and obligations of providers and users, under formal service agreements.
  6. Anytime a blockchain provider develops new products, features, functions or starts offering new services, it should report to the local Internet Information Office to subject it to a “safety assessment”.
  7. Blockchain providers and users should not use blockchains for illegal purposes (go figure), including those which “disrupt social order”. Prohibited content shall not be copied, published or disseminated on blockchains.
  8. Blockchain providers must be registered, must clearly show the details of its registration so people know it’s a legitimate service, and will be periodically inspected.

Does is mean a ban for Cryptocurrencies?
Bitcoin and Ethereum might be right out, then. And does this mean EOS can only be legal in China if at least two thirds of its block producers are located in China so they can tamper with the blockchain as requested?

Other cryptocurrencies might fare better and it could actually bode well for the centralised ones which might accrue users from the exodus elsewhere. For example, China-based VeChain and its highly-malleable reputation-based DPOS system might do alright.

But what this means for China’s cryptocurrency miners is another big question that might be tough to answer? Plus, there seems to be some broadness around the definition of a blockchain service provider. The regulations describe blockchain providers as “…the entities or nodes that provide the blockchain information service to the public” and “…the organisation that provides technical support for the blockchain information service”.

China calls for the blockchain industry to “strengthen self-discipline” and “improve the professional quality of the staff of the blockchain information service”

At the same time, it also calls for the blockchain industry to “strengthen self-discipline” and “improve the professional quality of the staff of the blockchain information service”, although that part still seems to be a general guideline and doesn’t have any penalties attached to it.

On the whole it sounds like there might be enough wiggle room for unpleasant things to happen to developers, node operators, wallet providers, blockchain users of any kind, and anyone else in China who can be identified as having touched an illegal blockchain in an illegal way.

However, Bobby C Lee, early Bitcoiner and founder of China´s first Cryptocurrency Exchange recently explained who Chinese traders still manage to circumvent Chinese crypto bans (see my blog article of Bobby C Lee presenting at a Conference in Seoul)

How will this affect cryptocurrencies?
“Heavily” seems like an obvious answer. And the markets wasted no time throwing themselves off a cliff.

It might be time to start dividing cryptocurrencies into two groups: the potentially legal and the soon to be illegal in China.

The strictest element of the new regulations, which will probably be the deal breaker for most, is that it’s only legal to provide or use a blockchain if the Chinese government is able to control the data on it, including removing it if needed. This means there has to be some kind of backdoor or way for a single entity to control transactions, remove blocks and so on.

Bitcoin and Ethereum might be right out, then. And does this mean EOS can only be legal in China if at least two thirds of its block producers are located in China so they can tamper with the blockchain as requested?

Other cryptocurrencies might fare better and it could actually bode well for the centralised ones which might accrue users from the exodus elsewhere. For example, China-based VeChain and its highly-malleable reputation-based DPOS system might do alright.

But what this means for China’s cryptocurrency miners is another big question that might be tough to answer.

Is it actually enforceable?
The regulations come into play on 15 February, so the world won’t have to wait too long to find out how this all plays out.

Wherever there is some kind of central authority behind a cryptocurrency, or where there’s a wallet provider serving residents of China or where there’s a mining manufacturer, they might have to start collecting user identities and showing terms and conditions if either they are based in China, or if the user is.

Of course, there’s still nothing preventing people from just keeping on anonymously using international wallets, public blockchains and similar, but it might still whittle down user numbers considerably.

And there may also be the possibility that it’s all just too difficult to effectively enforce so people kind of awkwardly ignore it, or that there’s a lack of clarity in the formal definition of “blockchain” being used in these regulations. Arguably blockchains are decentralised by definition, so any network which meets the requirements imposed by these regulations isn’t actually a blockchain.

Baidu’s XuperChain will become large part of its business
The new legislation supports the Chinese search engine Baidu, a main competitor of Google . Baidu has released its first ever blockchain white paper, and revealed big plans. The tech giant, which reports quarterly revenues of over $3bn, and is the world’s eighth-largest company, is seeking to capitalise on DLT to solve computer storage problems and take advantage of micropayments on its platform.

The ‘Baidu Blockchain White Paper V1.0’, was issued by the company’s internal Blockchain Lab on Wednesday and announces the development of its SuperChain – or, rather, XuperChain – network. It’s technicians claim that the system could handle more than 10,000 transactions per second.

XuperChain will be open source, say Baidu, allowing developers to use the tech to build or upgrade their own versions. The 48-page white paper also reveals that Baidu will include blockchain technology in large parts of its core businesses, including in solving intellectual property disputes, speeding up supply chain financing and even in online trading.

Chinese court accepted evidence stored on Blockchain
However, there are some very interesting good news! The Chinese short-video app Douyin has used the newly-established Beijing Internet Court to file a copyright infringement law suit against Baidu’s Huopai Video platform

The court announced in September 2018 that it would hear the case and will recognise evidence stored on blockchain, a first in the country’s video streaming industry.

The court announced that it would hear the case and will recognise evidence stored on blockchain, a first in the country’s video streaming industry.
Douyin is seeking compensation of around 1 million yuan (€ $120.000) from Huopai for unauthorised operation and downloads of a short video in May.

Spokeswomen from Douyin and Baidu did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Douyin requested a third-party company, Beijing Zhongjing Tianping, to store evidence on blockchain relating to the content Huopai had allegedly published illegally, according to Chinese-language law magazine People’s Rule of Law.

China’s internet courts now accept and process internet-related legal cases online, according to a ruling by the Supreme People’s Court. Beijing internet Court, launched on Sunday, said it had already received 207 legal complaints as of 6pm Monday. Hangzhou internet Court, China’s first internet court, was launched last August.

China is not the first to accept blockchain records as legal evidence. The US state of Vermont passed a law two years ago that allows courts to use data on blockchain as evidence.

However, the acceptance of evidence stored on the blockchain may have little impact on non-internet-related civil or criminal lawsuits. Blockchain data being legal evidence is relatively new and courts’ acceptance of it will depend on individual courts and situations.

Source: Cointelegraph, CBC, South China Morning Post

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