Last week in blockchain – 2018 week 12

Last week in blockchain for week 12 of 2018, a podcast with the latest developments in the world of the blockchain.

Welcome to Last week in blockchain. My name is Wim Pelgrim, a blockchain enthusiast and with this weekly podcast you’ll stay up to speed about all the major developments on the blockchain. And that in under 10 minutes!

This week I’m going to talk about the new crypto in Venezuela, standardization in China, the release of Hyperledger Fabric, new consensus platform Hashgraph and the organizations Coca Cola and PostNL; and I’ll talk about karate and games on the blockchain.

 

Venezuela has been in the news for years now because of the political instability. Authoritarian regimes always try to bypass sanctions and try to stimulate financing from abroad. Venezuela saw all the money ICO’s attracted last year and tries to get some money into the country with their own ICO and cryptocurrency. It’s backed by the oil reserves. But investing in this type of crypto is questionable. It funds a regime which has censored media and took over the Supreme Court. The fact they are using a blockchain based technology isn’t a safeguard for a moral system: the blockchain can be used for good or bad. You can check a longread at ConsenSys in the description.

The Chinese government also wants to get a grip on the developments on the blockchain: they take a different angle at the problem. The Chinese set up a national technical standardisation committee. This isn’t the only standardization initiative: ISO, ITU and W3C have launched these kinds of initiatives too. Standardisation is a normal process when new technologies come around. When the Internet started html had to be standardised and the World Wide Web came along. The blockchain is in the middle of that process and I’m curious what standards will develop. At the moment, I have no idea what that standard will be.

One of the bigger organizations building the blockchain infrastructure is Hyperledger. Yesterday they published version 1.1. of Hyperledger Fabric, a permissioned blockchain infrastructure with a modular architecture and many possible configurations. New features include channel based event service, the ability to encrypt ledger data and improvements for transaction throughput and response time and many more. Check their blog in the description.

The last more technical news is about an other distributed ledger technology. Last week I spoke about Iota, this week Hashgraph. It’s a consensus protocol with a unique structure. The company claims it has created an alternative for the blockchains with the Proof of Work consensus algorithm. Techcrunch has an article about the Hedera Hashgraph Platform. It has some nice ideas but as I said before: what standards will emerge, I can’t predict.

 

Then I have some news from several organizations adopting blockchain solutions: Coca Cola on forced labour, PostNL and a blockchain for the supermarket and BoutsPro uniting the world karate community.

Coca Cola pledged to conduct 28 national studies on labor and land rights for its sugar supply chains before 2020. Together with the US State Department and  a trio of crypto companies the company is launching a pilot project. The ledger will contain information on the workers and their contracts. But that is where the influence of the blockchain stops: enforcing the contracts and access to the contracts for workers aren’t done by implementing a blockchain. It’s a way to store information, not to check if the information added is true or has any effect in the real world.

Dutch postal service PostNL is working on a blockchain for supermarkets. INS Ecosystem is building a decentralized platform for direct interaction between brands and consumers worldwide. PostNL will be the Dutch partner delivering the packages to consumers in The Netherlands. Buying the products from the producers will reduce prices by 30% for consumers and contracts with existing companies like PostNL make the token by INS and the business plan more credible.

BoutsPro is the global karate organization representing a 190 million people strong karate community. And they claim to have found a way to effectively manage the relationships between personal experts and the students they are guiding. The blockchain will enable companies to start supporting and sponsoring the sport. At least, that is what BoutsPro hopes to accomplish. We’ll see.

With any new technology, games tend to pop up sooner or later. Bitcoinsaltcoins.nl as published a list of blockchain games. The Crypto Kittens on the Ethereum network is one of the most famous, but there are all kinds of games out there, mainly focused on animals. And besides the fluctuating values of cryptos, these kind of games also show the hype around the blockchain. Buying or selling a digital cat for thousands of dollars, it isn’t my kind of hobby, but for those of you who like a game with some financial risk or love to own a cat that doesn’t loose hairs, doesn’t use a litter box and doesn’t get pregnant in a box under the stairs: be my guest.

And that wraps up this Last week in blockchain. Check my website: www.wimpelgrim.nl for more info on me and my podcast and a full transcript of this episode. Check the links to all the news items I talked about in the description: Venezuela, China, Hyperledger Fabric, Hashgraph and the organizations: Coca Cola, PostNL, Karate and games on the blockchain.  And definitely check back next week for my new podcast on Soundcloud!

 

Full transcript
You can download a full transcript of this podcast here

 

Sources

Venezuela
https://media.consensys.net/authoritarian-ico-how-venezuelas-government-is-abusing-the-blockchain-a7a9b8275aa6

China
https://www.opengovasia.com/articles/chinese-government-planning-to-create-national-standards-for-blockchain-technology

Hyperledger Fabric
https://www.hyperledger.org/blog/2018/03/20/hyperledger-fabric-v1-1-released

Hashgraph
https://techcrunch.com/2018/03/13/hashgraph-wants-to-give-you-the-benefits-of-blockchain-without-the-limitations/

Coca Cola
https://www.engadget.com/2018/03/18/coca-cola-and-us-government-use-blockchain-to-curb-forced-labor/

PostNL and INS
https://bitcoinmagazine.nl/2018/03/08/ins-ecosystem-gaat-samenwerkingsverband-aan-met-postnl/

Karate
https://cointelegraph.com/news/platform-plans-to-unite-world-karate-community-through-blockchain-and-cryptocurrency

Games on the blockchain
https://www.bitcoinsaltcoins.nl/lijst-blockchain-games/

 

Music © by https://www.bensound.com

 

 

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