Amazon Opens Blockchain Building
Amazon has launched its Managed Blockchain service for wider use among enterprise clients. AT&T, Nestle, Accenture and others are already using the service. Amazon Managed Blockchain is said to allow clients to create and manage blockchain networks more easily and economically using open-source frameworks like Hyperledger Fabric. The service is available for general production use, said chief Jeff Barr. “You can create your [blockchain] network in minutes. You can manage certificates, invite new members, and scale out peer node capacity in order to process transactions more quickly.”
Overstock tZERO found a new client to issue security tokens
Dubai-based real estate Emaar has signed a letter of intent to issue tokens on tZERO.
Emaar owns luxury residential and commercial high-rises, including the world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa in Dubai. Emaar announced plans to do an initial coin offering (ICO) in March in a partnership with the Swiss startup Lykke AG. At first, Emaar will do “some initial small, proof-of-concept issuance to prove it out,” Noursalehi said, although the company is looking into launching a token issuance project as big as $2 billion. tZERO’s CEO said, but “we want to get a definitive contract in the next week or two.” By the end of this year, tZERO hopes to get up to 10 tokens traded on its alternative trading system.
Overstock gave a demonstration of the announced tZERO crypto trading app, scheduled to go live in June. The app will initially list only bitcoin, ether and, possibly, ravencoin.
As for the other subsidiaries of Medici, Byrne announced that Medici Land Governance, a startup aiming to put land registries on a blockchain, has signed a contract with the government of Zambia, where it’s already been working on a pilot covering 50,000 houses. The new contract adds “250,000 additional homes (and potentially a million or more) in Lusaka over 10 years,” the report says.
Facebook’s Cryptocurrency Led by PayPal Alumni Just ‘Months Away’ Launch
Facebook’s much-hyped cryptocurrency project, dubbed Project Libra, may launch within a matter of months, Bloomberg report. The blockchain project, led by a team of PayPal alumni, is expected to launch a stablecoin for sending peer-to-peer payments to friends and family as well as integrating with major e-commerce players. Famed investor Mike Novogratz this week called Facebook’s looming service “stunningly important” to the crypto space. If executed correctly, he said, Facebook’s payment service will be a “big, big deal” and lend credibility.
Central Banks Settle Cross-Border Payments With Blockchain for First Time
The central banks of Canada and Singapore have concluded a trial of cross-border payments using blockchain technology and central bank digital currencies. The Bank of Canada (BoC) and the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) jointly announced Thursday that the successful trial – the first of its kind between two central banks – showed “great potential to increase efficiencies and reduce risks for cross-border payments.”
Bloomberg: Blockchain Adopted by Canadian Banks to Verify Client Identities
Canada is making a big leap in modernizing identity verification, tapping blockchain technology to let consumers digitally prove who they are to securely access banking and other personal services. SecureKey Technologies digital identity system is now available for customers of five Canadian banks through a mobile app. The system works at Royal Bank of Canada, Toronto-Dominion Bank, Bank of Nova Scotia, Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce and Desjardins Group, and is coming soon to Bank of Montreal and National Bank of Canada. Sun Life Financial Inc. also signed on to be the first North American insurer on the service. The network is built on collaboration between banks, telecom firms and credit agencies to be used by consumers to prove their identities to access health records, open accounts at banks and telephone companies, and get government services by the end of this year. “Everything from being able to see your health records in a secure way, being able to open a new bank account, being able to get a new phone -- all this stuff that’s so time-consuming and painful is going to get easier for consumers,” Wolfond said. “They’re going to be able to share their data in a secure and trusted way, which they never really could before.”
Fidelity: 22% of Institutional Investors Have Some Digital Asset Exposure
Institutional investors are increasingly open to finding a place for digital assets in their portfolios. A survey conducted by Fidelity, around 22 percent of investors have some exposure to digital assets, while 40 percent say they are open to it in the next five years. Of those that have exposure, most investments were made in the last three years. Aimed to gain an understanding of how institutions, financial advisors and investors perceive digital assets generally and as part of an investment portfolio, the survey also found that over half (57 percent) prefer to invest in digital assets directly, while 72 percent favor investment products that hold digital assets. Fifty-seven percent said they’d prefer to buy investment products that hold digital asset firms. For the research, the company polled over 400 U.S. institutional investors, including pensions, family offices, hedge funds and financial advisors, as well as endowments and foundations.
PepsiCo Blockchain Trial Brings 28% Boost in Supply Chain Efficiency
Food and beverage giant PepsiCo has conducted a blockchain trial that brought a 28% boost in supply chain efficiency. Dubbed “Project Proton,” the trial set out to examine if blockchain could address “industry challenges” in programmatic advertising. PepsiCo’s project partner and media agency Mindshare, assisted in the trial, which carried out a programmatic end-to-end supply chain reconciliation using Zilliqa’s blockchain platform. The effort compared a control budget with one for the test to gauge the effectiveness of the technology.