Last week in blockchain – 2018 week 26

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!

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Before starting this weeks news: a shout out to all my listeners in San Jose! Last 30 days you were my most loyal listeners. Thank you for your faith. This week I’ll be be discussing technological future with Ripple and George Friedman, the countries South Korea and Sweden, new apps by EY and Microsoft and The Colorado Sun and I’ll end with a course in India and the Akoin.

Technology and persepctive

New technologies always evoke two responses: enthusiasm and scepticism. We saw a lot of enthusiasm with rising prices of crypto’s last year. Scepticism is growing this year. Looking at the Hype Cycle by Gartner, we’re over the peak of inflated expectations. And we’ll see more and more scepticism for some months or years. But among the blockchain sceptics is David Schwartz, Chief Cryptographer of Ripple, it’s news. “I will concede, we haven’t gotten there yet” and “What we hear from many of our customers is that it’s imperative to keep their transactions private, process thousands every second, and accommodate every type of currency and asset imaginable”. It sounds like the reaction by The Dutch Central Bank two weeks ago (podcast #19/Blocker 13 juni).

An other sceptic is George Friedman, geopolitical analyst. But he isn’t  someone who doesn’t believe in blockchain, he believes they will become obsolete. Because of quantum computing. When that technology matures, it will be able to decrypt the cryptography of blockchain and all information will be out in the open. It’s a future everyone in blockchain know will come some day. But as we have heard a few weeks ago (podcast #18, Blocker 6 juni), quantum computers could be part of a blockchain too. Nobody knows what the future looks like, but technology becoming obsolete is part of every era. For now, blockchain can change things, will change things.

Governments and law
After some scepticism, an enthusiastic reaction of the South Korean government. It’s investing over 200 million dollars in public and private blockchain initiatives. The program will expand and commercialize six existing blockchain pilots with the backing of the Ministry of Science and ICT. Fields covered in the program are real estate, online voting, shipping logistics, livestock record management, customs clearance, real estate, and international e-document distribution.

Sweden is taking a chance at land registry on blockchain. “The technology is quite ready”, chief digital officer Mats Schnäll told about the project. Now it’s ready for testing in the field. And although Lantmäteriet already functions in a “highly digitized and paperless” system, it still could take 3 to 6 months to register a sale. Blockchain could shorten that period. Exciting, but still just starting.

To much applications were presented last week. Not only the countries I just talked about, also Brazil’s Central Bank, Drechtsteden University, Colorado News, EY and Microsoft, Brave and Cryptokitties came out with interesting news last week. And those are just the ones I fully read, because there always is more. But I’ll discuss only two with you that I think will have the most impact in the next few months: EY and Microsoft and the blockchain powered Colorado news outlet.

Big boys EY and Microsoft released a blockchain solution for rights and royalties management. It should streamline the costly and time-consuming processes in entertainment rights and royalties. Gaming is the first field the solution will be used in, with Microsoft and other game publishers, but it should serve any industry where intellectual property or assets are licensed to other parties. In addition, the solution aims to provide near real-time visibility of sales transactions to the participants in the network. Participants will be able to react to market needs faster and more effectively. But all of these claims are from the press release, so we’ll have to see how it works out.

Then to Colorado, where a group of reporters left The Denver Post to start The Colorado Sun, a publication platform based on blockchain and crypto economics. Aim is to create 1000 publications by the end of this year. Why? The reporters and editors didn’t agree with the policy of the hedge fund that took over their paper. The Colorado Sun is supported by the Civil Media Group, a start up by Joseph Lubin (one of the founders of Ethereum). Civil sought a group of great journalists, because, as they say, it’s the journalism that is the start, not the blockchain. And that seems a great approach if you ask me. Check the article from the New York Times for more details.

For my listeners in Inda: IBM is offering a free blockchain course for students in India. Together with the National Programme on Technology Enhanced Learning (NPTEL), IBM offers a 12-week online course. Anyone world wide can follow the course, but final exams will be offered only offline in selected Inidian cities. Interested? Check the link in the description.

And finaly, the OMG moment of this week. I don’t know if you know Akon. He’s a singer and because of copyright, I can’t play you one of his songs. But that’s not important. If you want to be part of his next great thing: buy his upcoming crypto. The… (wait for it)… Akoin. Get it? Akon…Akoin…Akon…Akoin. And most confusing of this plan: he hopes it will become the currency of his new city: Akon Crypto City, near Dakar. And…crypto’s could safe Afrika. And his closing statement: “I come up with the ideas, let the geeks work it out!”. Truly “Oh…my…God!”

And that wraps up this Last week in blockchain. Check my website: 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: Ripple, George Friedman, South Africa, Sweden, EY and Microsoft, The Colorado Sun, a course in India and Akoin. And definitely check back next week for my new podcast on Soundcloud and in Dutch on! And if you like what you’ve heard, share this podcast with your friends and on social media.



South Korea


Geopolitical analysis of blockchain


EY and Microsoft

The Colorado Sun

Course in India





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