IBM Launches Blockchain App Store
In this week’s digital currency update, we’re going to take a break from looking at the cryptocurrency market to focus on some of the strides made by public blockchain companies.
In the past year, multiple public companies have started working with cryptocurrencies or blockchain software. This includes IBM, Microsoft, and Bank of America.
These companies can be a great opportunity for investors because they provide exposure to the blockchain market without the high risks of cryptocurrency. That's why we want to take some time and look at one of the companies leading the charge: IBM.
Beyond updates from the public sector, we'll also take a look at some international events, including a shipment of almonds made 100% on the blockchain.
Let’s get started.
IBM and CLS Announce New Blockchain App Store
There is no denying it: IBM is rapidly becoming one of the most powerful companies in the blockchain space.
Over the last year, IBM has been building its own blockchain empire, launching a blockchain tool for its enterprise clients and partnering with digital currency company Stellar to provide banking to individuals all over the globe.
And now the company has announced its next big move.
On July 20th, it was announced that IBM and bank-owned currency trading utility CLS have launched a new blockchain “app store” called LedgerConnect.
LedgerConnect will provide a wide range of companies with access to distributed ledger technology solutions. This includes companies in the financial space, which can use blockchain to increase efficiency.
On the LedgerConnect platform, financial companies will be able to access DLT-based services in a wide range of areas. These include know-your-customer processes, collateral management, and sanctions screening. By providing these critical services, LedgerConnect will address a growing connectivity gap.
IBM’s vice president for financial markets, Keith Bear, said: “Having a secure network and proven infrastructure allows an app store kind of model, where banks can identify applications from certified fintech and software providers and deploy these apps over a seamless blockchain network.”
This is a big victory, not just for IBM and its partners but for the entire blockchain space. More safe and secure channels to blockchain will help with adoption and encourage companies to use the technology in their own business models.
We’ll keep you up to date on this story as it progresses.
Almonds for All Thanks to Blockchain
Our regular readers here at Token Authority know blockchain can be used in quite a few flashy ways, from artificial intelligence to augmented reality.
That said, one of the blockchain's most serious and lucrative applications isn't flashy: supply chain management.
Why? Well, it turns out blockchain could be the perfect tool for companies that are trying to assure that their packages will make it to their destinations without being tampered with or destroyed.
And now we have a successful implementation of this use case.
On July 30th, the Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) announced that it successfully tracked a shipment containing 17 tons of almonds using its new blockchain platform.
This new blockchain platform used the Internet of Things (IoT), distributed ledger technology, and smart contracts to help keep tabs on the shipment.
That means the people involved in the shipment — from sender to receiver — had access to real-time information regarding the temperature, condition, and location of the shipment.
In order to create this blockchain, five different supply chain blockchain leaders collaborated.
Winklevoss Bitcoin ETF: Rejected
On July 27th, the Winklevoss twins' second Bitcoin ETF was rejected by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in a three-to-one ruling.
The SEC announced its decision in a 92-page document, which cited concerns about the Winklevoss twins being able to protect investors from abuse and fraud.
The rejection has dealt a short-term blow to the Winklevoss twins, who also had a Bitcoin ETF rejected last year. With this ETF, even more was at stake.
This latest ETF would have operated on the Winklevoss twins' cryptocurrency exchange Gemini. It's a platform and effort that the twins have put a lot of time into, improving the user experience and increasing the number of tokens available through the exchange.
But the Winklevoss twins are undeterred.
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Following the SEC's decision, Cameron Winklevoss stated, “Despite today's ruling, we look forward to continuing to work with the SEC and remain deeply committed to bringing a regulated bitcoin ETF to market and building the future of money.”
Commissioner Hester Peirce, the one commissioner who voted for the ETF, also made a statement: “More institutional participation would ameliorate many of the Commission's concerns with the Bitcoin market that underlie its disapproval order.”
Peirce further noted that the disapproval sends a “strong signal that innovation is unwelcome in our market.”
After the ETF was rejected, Bitcoin's price fell by 4%. It has since recovered.
It's important to note that this is not where the Bitcoin ETF story ends. Currently, there are 25 different Bitcoin ETF applications pending. And that means sooner or later, something is going to happen.
We're going to take a deeper look into this issue in your Monday mailing of Token Authority. So keep an eye on your inbox.
Bitcoin's Second-Ever Developer Announces Big Plans
In an exclusive CoinDesk release, it was revealed that Martti "Sirius" Malmi, the first developer to ever work with Bitcoin creator Satoshi Nakamoto, will be pairing up with a new team to launch a whole new project.
The goal of this project is to decentralize the internet and, in doing so, disrupt the hold tech giants currently have on the space.
In order to make this happen, Malmi and his team will be using a combination of Malmi's Identifi online reputation system and a decentralized database system called GUN. Malmi launched Identifi back in 2014, shortly after departing from the Bitcoin team because, like Satoshi, he believed the network had enough users to fend for itself.
That said, it wasn't long into working on Identifi that Malmi recognized the massive hold that many tech giants, like Facebook and Google, have on the internet. In order to disrupt this hold, there needs to be centralized indexing and storage of information.
And hence this project was born.
The project has already attracted major interest from the digital currency community, partly because of Malmi's extensive experience and partly because of the promise of the project.
It will have its own digital currency called AXE, which will be used to incentivize individuals to use the platform.
That's all we have for this week's digital currency update.
Make sure to keep an eye on your inbox for our feature on Bitcoin ETFs and what they could mean for the digital currency community.