Last week in blockchain – 2018 week 35

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 if you like what you’ve heard: share this podcast, like it in your podcast app or support me by going to www.patreon.com/wimpelgrim

This week Cointelegraph, Jesse Frederiks of De Correspondent, The World Bank, Steve Wozniak and Equi, Canada and research from Cambridge University. Let’s get started!

Technology
Want to know more about blockchain, the internet is filled with websites explaining technological solutions and answers. Cointelegraph, one of the bigger websites about blockchain, has an explained section and this week they published an article on the scaling problem in blockchain. And let me remind you of last week’s podcast when I talked about TRON (2000 transactions a second) vs. Ethereum (15). Why can’t all blockchains upgrade to 2000? Because that restricts the development of several blockchains and blockchain solutions. The article on Cointelegraph was written by Fractonet, a startup that says it successfully managed to process 33888 transactions a second in blocks of 1.5 GB using a new protocol. A beautiful press release, but we’ll have to see if there is proof for this claim.

Long-read
The most interesting article I read (through a podcast I heard) was the article by Jesse Frederiks on De Correspondent: a Dutch journalism platform which is expanding in English at this moment. It is not the most positive article on blockchain: “The blockchain, a solution for almost nothing”. But it fits the position of blockchain on the hypecycle by Gartner: we’re over the top of the hype but not yet in the phase of productivity. Frederiks makes two observations I have comments on: the energycosts of Bitcoin are way to high. He doesn’t mention proof-of-stake or other technical developments away from proof-of-work. And Frederiks only talks about permissionless public blockchains as ‘real blockchains’. Private blockchains aren’t the real things in his vision. I don’t share that vision. Blockchain is more than building an app on Ethereum or Bitcoin, for some problems a private permissioned blockchain is the best option, especially when you are working on privacy sensitive material.

I share his general conclusion though: blockchain is mainly a way of looking at data management between organizations and the starting point of a discussion.

Companies
The most important company, is it a company? in blockchain this week was The World Bank. The bank exceeded the expectations with the world first bond managed only using by blockchain. It raised 80.48 million dollars for the World Bank. I think the AAA rating of the bank helps build trust for the blockchain bond. But there is more to this story according to Arunma Oteh, treasurer of the World Bank. He said: “We are particularly impressed with the breath of interest from official institutions… these high-quality investors understood the value of leveraging technology for innovation in capital markets.” And what is the difference with an ICO or similar product? CBA said the World Bank bond will be the first time that capital is raised from public investors through a legally valid bond issuance that uses blockchain from start to finish. Blockchain is becoming more and more a part of existing products and services. This is another example.

 

Governments and law

 

 

 

New applications

 

When a new applications will be launched, it’s usually not newsworthy. But when Steve Wozniak joins a startup, it is news. And in an interview with Nulltx he speaks about blockchain (like he did earlier (podcast #17)) and his involvement. Two quotes. The first is about why he liked Bitcoin and likes blockchain: “It’s based on mathematics. […] Mathematics to me is like nature. It’s much better than human beings…”. The second is about his participation in startup Equi: “I’m involved with, very soon, my first time being involved in a blockchain company. [It’s] called Equi… Our approach is not like a new currency, or something phony where an event will make it go up in value. It’s a share of stock, in a company.” That’s all I can find. Equi will be launched in a few months and besides the team, nothing is visible on the website. But if the Woz believes in it…

 

Hardware

 

 

Oh my god!
Then to Canada. The government of Canada has built an Ethereum blockchain application. On the Ethereum blockchain all new and amended Contribution Agreements with firms by the government in real time. A press release, a search tool and a lot of buzz (dozens of articles if you search for it in Google News). But why would you want to use blockchain in this case. I can’t find any evidence on the website of the project, in the press release or on several websites. The government can publish this kind of information from a central database as well. Do they know what blockchain is all abooooot? If you don’t get this joke, check American comedy South Park

 

Research
The University of Cambridge, England, published a research paper trying to build a framework for a common terminology in the DLT-sector. In 97 pages, which I haven’t read in full, the paper tries to standardize terminology so policy makers, researchers, investors and companies speak the same language when it comes to blockchain, ledgers, transactions and data. If this paper will be common terminology, I don’t know, but it helped me to sharpen the definitions in my head.

 

Referrals

 

Hackernoon posted about the top-10 blockchain platforms to watch for in 2018, a smashing press release: MAS, SGX partner with Anquan, Deloitte and Nasdaq to use blockchain for settlement of tokenized assets and Belgium’s Energy Transmission System Operator eyes blockchain for demand response.

 

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: Scaling, De Correspondent, Steve Wozniak, World Bank and Cambridge University. And I hope to see you next week for my next episode. And if you like what you’ve heard, share this podcast with your friends and on social media and click those five stars in your podcast app.

Sources
Scaling
https://cointelegraph.com/explained/blockchains-scaling-problem-explained

De Correspondent
https://decorrespondent.nl/8628/de-blockchain-een-oplossing-voor-bijna-niets/2927658965088-2d3a5d2e

World Bank
https://www.cnbc.com/2018/08/24/world-bank-exceeds-expectations-with-world-first-blockchain-bondcba.html

Steve Wozniak
https://nulltx.com/exclusive-interview-apple-co-founder-steve-wozniak-talks-blockchain-reveals-upcoming-involvement-with-crypto-startup/

Research paper
https://www.jbs.cam.ac.uk/faculty-research/centres/alternative-finance/publications/distributed-ledger-technology-systems/#.W4VHah9uJeW

Referrals

Top 10 blockchain platforms
https://hackernoon.com/top-10-blockchain-platforms-to-watch-for-in-2018-eef7b992acba

MAS, SGX, Anquan, Deloitte and Nasdaq
https://www.straitstimes.com/business/banking/mas-sgx-to-partner-anquan-deloitte-nasdaq-to-harness-blockchain-technology-for

 

 

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