Here’s What You Missed at BlockShow Asia 2019

Couldn’t make it to this year’s BlockShow Asia? Don’t worry. Cointelegraph has you covered with some key highlights of BlockShow Asia 2019 held Nov. 14-15 in Singapore.

Cointelegraph moderated the first crypto media gathering as BlockShow hosted well-known personalities from the cryptocurrency industry, such as Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao, also known as CZ, and Hyperledger Vice President APAC Julian Gordon.

One of the most memorable moments included CZ coming to the stage with well-known satire music artist Lil Bubble who later performed crypto-themed songs such as “All-Time Lows” and “Liquidated” live.

CZ: China’s digital currency will use blockchain

Zhao shared his perspectives on China’s central bank digital currency. He expects the system will be a blockchain-based version of the Renminbi that will help expand the currency’s economic influence:

“The Chinese government wants to push RMB’s influence globally. They want RMB to be competitive with the US dollar. In order to do that they really need to push this currency to have more freedom.”

APAC vice president of open-source blockchain development project Hyperledger Julian Gordon shared how the pro-blockchain sentiment of the Chinese government affected him. He said:

“Xi Jinping made that announcement 10 days ago. The reason I know that is because my phone is sitting on my desk — my WeChat started buzzing and hasn’t stopped since.”

Looking forward to blockchain’s future

Overall, the experts at the event seemed to agree that while Bitcoin is just cryptocurrency, blockchain is a new connectivity framework. The speakers also held a panel titled “Collaboration in a Decentralized Ecosystem: Why Government And Corporations Need It,” which illustrated how blockchain technology is being used by governments.

The participants explained that, besides Bitcoin, blockchain allows for ecosystem connectivity and information in a trustless, decentralized fashion. Vinay Mohan, Managing Director of ConsenSys Singapore, said:

“We are talking here about an intermediate technology that connects different ecosystems providing a new form of governance.”

During a panel focused on blockchain scalability, all the speakers agreed that people have to choose between scalability and decentralization. Co-founder of Litecoin Foundation Xinxi Wang said:

“At Litecoin, we always choose decentralization and security over scalability. Unfortunately, we can’t do both, but we try to find something in the middle.”

Da Hongfei, the founder of smart contract-supporting blockchain platform NEO, shared his views on the current state of the decentralized web during the event. The NEO founder highlighted the problems deriving from monopoly, centralization abuse and single points of failure, proposing decentralization as the solution, saying:

“These standards should be transparent and decentralized. Data ownership should be given back to the users.”

Worth noting, CZ first met Da Hongfei at a panel in Shanghai in 2014. Now, they again shared one stage for the first time in five years at BlockShow Asia 2019.

Meanwhile, Chief FinTech Officer at the Monetary Authority of Singapore Sopnendu Mohanty spoke about the importance of blockchain for the economy, highlighting its indispensability for the development of green finance.

According to him, blockchain can enable the monitoring, measuring and financing of what he refers to as “green assets.”

Perspectives on Bitcoin and altcoins

Talking about altcoins, VeChain founder Sunny Lu suggested that token value is mostly arbitrary. He said:

“99% of a [token’s value] is linked to speculation, and not to the value that solution can bring to society. This causes many startups to waste a lot of time producing and ‘selling’ the token, failing to develop solutions for where they were initially focused.”

Meanwhile, CEO and co-founder at Distributed Lab and author of “Blockchain and Decentralized Systems,” Dr. Pavel Kravchenko, shared his view that Bitcoin adoption by institutions may actually result in BTC price crashing. He said:

“Bitcoin is censorship resistant money, the first in the world. I don’t believe in institutional adoption. If this happens, Bitcoin will become not censorship-resistant. Then it won’t have this feature anymore and will crash to zero.”

On the other hand, during a panel titled “Unlocking Yield In Cryptocurrency Assets — Encouraging Institutions To Enter The Industry,” a number of crypto leaders shared their thoughts on how to make emerging fintech accessible to mainstream financial entities.

Head of Business Development Asia for Cumberland Justin Chow, in the end, said what he believes is needed to onboard institutional players:

“Custody, liquidity, and regulations are the top three petitions from institutional investors jumping into crypto.”

While those in the crypto space mostly welcome regulation, Quoine co-founder Mike Kayamori cautioned:

“Crypto is evolving, and the government can’t try to regulate things it still doesn’t understand. […] I am still in favor of crypto regulation, but [it] needs to be done very carefully.”

On Nov. 15, Blockstream CSO Samson Mow said that Tether (USDT) is clearly the preference among investors but will not see a retail use case during a panel called “The progress of stablecoins — if any? Can I use it yet?”

Still, he noted that while Tether’s first mover advantage gave it a great advantage over competitors, he expects national cryptocurrencies to make stablecoins obsolete. He also noted:

“Stablecoins are a mid-step toward hyperbitcoinization. They’re a temporary thing. The main threat they face is from the national cryptocurrencies. How open will those national cryptocurrencies be? […] Stablecoins will then have no reason to exist with a national cryptocurrency.”

Blockchain and AI

BlockShow also saw SingularityNet’s CEO Ben Goertzel give a presentation titled “Stimulating Massive Network Effects in Decentralized AI Networks.” He spoke about the merging of blockchain with AI:

“By definition, a blockchain is a distributed, decentralized, immutable ledger used to store encrypted data. On the other hand, AI is the engine or the ‘brain’ that will enable analytics and decision making from the data collected. But both AI and blockchain are in situations where they can benefit from each other, and help one another.”

Goertzel also announced a new partnership between SingularityNet and PayPal.

Finally, the show also hosted a startup competition called Crypto Busters with eight companies, after which the Board of Investors who judged the contest showed particular interest in six startups, namely Hacken, GamerHash, Chainstuck, Keyless, Beatdapp and Holdex.

BlockShow Asia 2019 was sponsored by dozens of cryptocurrency companies and entities, including NEO, Changelly, Bequant, Bluehelix, Crypto.com, Apay and NGC Ventures.

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Northern Trust To Test Fractionalize Bonds On Hyperledger Sawtooth In Partnership With …

Northern Trust, a custody bank, has begun to test the trade of fractionalized bonds using blockchain technology. The banking institution is working together with BondEvalue, a debt market firm based in Singapore.

BondEvalue is set to provide asset services for the bank, which will tokenize high-grade bonds for retail investors using the Hyperledger Sawtooth technology. Normally, this type of investment is too large for retail investors, but by tokenizing the assets, someone can buy them without having large amounts of cash.

This shows the interest the bank has in the new technology. After the institution sold its first equities using the blockchain. Northern Trust has definitely shown some interest in the area. With $124 billion of assets under its custody, the bank is currently the 24th largest one in the U.S., so its efforts to use the blockchain are very relevant to the industry.

Justin Chapman, the global head of market and innovation at the bank, has affirmed that Northern Trust has created a solution that can be used in multiple jurisdictions and that the focus of the bank right now is to improve the blockchain-based services to offer the best investments for the clients.

Initially, the service will be offered in Singapore using the local sandbox initiative. If the pilot manages to be successful, the bank will continue the project together with BondEvalue and try to take it to global markets.

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The Company Already Rolled Out Blockchain-Based Supply Tracking For Over 25 Products

The Company Already Rolled Out Blockchain-Based Supply Tracking For Over 25 Products


Walmart, one of the world’s biggest retailers, entered the blockchain revolution with a global tracking product in cooperation with Hyperledger’s Fabric. Now, Walmart’s Canadian branch is launching the first all-in-one production blockchain solution, with the help of DLT Labs.

Walmart has been looking for ways of utilizing the blockchain technology for years. Thanks to its collaboration with Hyperledger and IBM, the company managed to provide enhanced speed and transparency to its food supply chain. Since implementing the food tracking system, the time to prove the origin of mango fruits dropped from 7 days to just 2.2 seconds.

The Senior Director at Walmart Technology Karl Bedwell, admitted that at first, Walmart VP’s were skeptic about the use of blockchain technology. Still, after conducting two proofs-of-concept (PoC) projects for food traceability, Frank Yiannas gave the team the “green light” to develop such a solution.

Walmart and IBM chose the Hyperledger Fabric because of its modularity and hosting of “chaincode” smart contracts. Тhe PoC projects helped tracing pork in China and mangoes in the US, proving their origin and route. Immediately after the two PoC projects were classified as successful, Walmart expanded its decentralized food tracking system with other food suppliers. The collaboration resulted in the creation of IBM Food Trust, with partners like Nestle and Unilever.

Now, Walmart is diversifying its blockchain solutions apart from food tracking. Walmart’s Canada branch rolled out a new tracking, payments, and transaction verification system, in partnership with DLT Labs. The new system would be integrated into Walmart’s legacy blockchain solution. Walmart Canada’s VP of logistics, John Bayliss, stated that utilizing blockchain made a significant impact on processing vast amounts of inventory data.

“The new system allows faster and more transparent data transfer between Walmart Canada and our carrier partners. The improved efficiency also cuts down expenses and creates a greener supply chain. The lowered ecological footprint proves Walmart’s place in environmental sustainability,” Bayliss added.

While Walmark is taking a proactive stance in adopting blockchain technology into its operations, others claim that blockchain only creates “a false sense of transparency.” Craig Heraghty of PwC stated his skepticism about Walmart’s transparency. He noted that the system might have tamper-proofed data, but the point-of-entry is still simple and easy to use with minimal chance of error occurrence.

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Northern Trust Testing Fractionalized Bonds on Blockchain

Custody bank Northern Trust is testing the trading of fractionalized bonds on a blockchain.

Working with Singapore-based debt markets company BondEvalue, the bank is providing asset servicing for large, high-grade bonds that will be tokenized and divided for retail investors on Hyperledger Sawtooth. These bonds are normally too large for individual investors, but the quality of the bonds is attractive.

The move shows Northern Trust’s continued interest in the technology after it developed then soldits private equities blockchain, which shortens the time to market for new high-tech private equity funds. With $124.3 billion in assets, Northern Trust is the 24th largest bank in the U.S.

“We’re building capabilities we feel will be reusable across multiple asset classes and multiple jurisdictions,” Justin Chapman, global head of market advocacy and innovation research at Northern Trust, said of the new bond pilot. “Our focus on this initiative is to help bring the exchange to life and then we offer the highest grade asset servicing capability in that digital environment.”

Through the Monetary Authority of Singapore’s Sandbox Express, BondEvalue was given permission to launch a blockchain-based bond exchange in Singapore. Northern Trust will custody tokenized bonds and conduct transactions with the regulator’s oversight.

If the pilot is successful, the bank plans to also participate in the development of BondEvalue’s business model.

Northern Trust image via Shutterstock

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Coca-Cola supply chain of 70 franchisees goes on SAP blockchain

As we already know, the giant Walmart has been using the IBM Hyperledger blockchain for some time. At stake is the optimization of Walmart’s supply chain. Indeed, the manufacturing cycle of products is recorded in the blockchain at each new stage on the chain. This allows to obtain an inalterable history of the route of the product. Following suit, Coca Cola bottlers implement blockchain technology to manage multi-part transactions.

The group that manages bottling and delivery of Coca-Cola – Coke One North America, or CONA – seems convinced that they have found a suitable use case with a blockchainised management solution proposed by SAP. Coke One North America – the company that manages the production monitoring of the American giant – uses a blockchain developed by SAP, to improve the production process and better manage its supply chain.

The German software company SAP has developed the blockchain solution aimed at helping the 70 companies of the Coca-Cola franchise to communicate their respective inventories more easily to other partners within the group, but also to be paid more quickly.

“There are a number of business-to-business and multi-stakeholder transactions that are inefficient. They go through intermediaries and they are very slow. We thought we could improve this [with the SAP blockchain], and thus save money”, Andrei Semenov, Senior Director of CONA.

The complex logistics network managed by Coke One North America generates more than $21 billion in revenue each year. Thus, before passing the management of this huge supply chain on the SAP blockchain, a pilot program was first conducted with two of the famous sweets bottlers: Coca-Cola United and CC Clark.

Following the success of this pilot project, this blockchain management is now extended to the 70 companies of the franchise. The blockchain solutions offered by SAP take the form of a Blockchain-as-a-Service (Baas), where all the infrastructure is operated as a backdrop for the customer. SAP is a member of the Hyperledger initiative.

“What we have achieved with this blockchainised process is the creation of a continuous flow of documents throughout the entire supply chain… Generally, there are no more all these conflicts [between orders] because the information that has been shared is clear and transparent everywhere”, said Torsten Zube, Head of the SAP Innovation Center network.

CONA hopes that by applying blockchain management to all its franchisees, the time required to complete orders – from production to sale and final payment – will increase from 50 days to just a few days. However, it is not said that this progress is being made by actually reducing the number of intermediaries involved. After Walmart testing its supply chain management via the IBM blockchain, here is another giant whose providers are getting into the big bath blockchain.

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    Julian Gordon’s WeChat “Hasn’t Stopped Buzzing” Since Xi Jinpin Went Pro-Blockchain

    Speaking at BlockShow Asia 2019, Hyperledger Vice President APAC Julian Gordon described the personal impact that the Chinese president’s pro-blockchain remarks have had on him:

    “Xi Jinpin made that announcement 10 days ago. The reason I know that is because my phone is sitting on my desk — my WeChat started buzzing and hasn’t stopped since.”

    Hosted by the Linux Foundation, Hyperledger is an open-source blockchain project aiming to be a hub for open blockchain development across industries. It has gathered companies from different backgrounds such as IBM, Airbu, and J.P.Morgan to further advance cross-industry blockchain technologies.

    Hyperledger is also collaborating with Chinese companies in areas like trade finance, letters of credit (L/C), and e-visibility. For example, they are working with top Chinese banks like China Minsheng Bank and China CITIC Bank to remove the need for SWIFT in China’s domestic L/C settlement.

    Expectations for the Chinese blockchain market are quite high. Referring to big Chinese tech companies like Alibaba and Tencent, Gordon said that they were always amazed by Chinese entrepreneurship.

    Hyperledger is a permissioned blockchain project, which is different from a permissionless technology with anonymous participants. Yet Gordon claims that the two different ecosystems can coexist. Last June, the Ethereum Foundation joined Hyperledger.

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    IBM and Coop to Use Blockchain Technology for Monitoring Food Supply Chain

    Coop and IBM began their partnership one year ago and announced the result of their alliance today with the introduction of “Call of Ideas.” Call of Ideas has been dedicated to the blockchain application technology, food chain, and specifically to the production of Made in Italy brand eggs.

    Blockchain and distributed ledger technology (DLT), will be used for tracking organic eggs and several other Agrifood products in Italy. The leading companies will strive to make use of disruptive technologies to boost the safety of food and enhance people’s standard of living. The system is linked to Hyperledger Fabric and permits complete transparency and visibility of scores of players in the supply chain and now includes a whopping 2 million hens.

    The developed solution relies on Hyperledger Fabric, which is a framework of the Linux Foundation. It allows total transparency and visibility of various players having involvement in the production chain of Coop brand eggs with approximately 2 million hens. They get massive 200 million eggs every year.

    The consumer will get the option of scanning the QR code displayed on the package and enter the particular code of the lot. They can find out the history of the product and return from point to sale to the breeding. They will be able to find out not only the territory from which eggs come but also the incubator as well from which the hen was born.

    Consumers will also be able to confirm that the eggs are produced by conforming to animal welfare standards, without using antibiotics, and without caging. These details will be certified by third-party companies and highlights compliance with the laws and other requirements set by Coop Italia.

    Using blockchain in the supply of egg network is the latest step in the process of transparency that will differentiate Italian food products like fruits, carrots, milk, palm oils, and also highlights the correct practices related to eggs.

    Coop has emerged as the popular system of Italian consumers’ cooperatives that runs the largest supermarket chain in Italy.

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    Standard Chartered Banking Group Joins Ethereum Enterprise Alliance

    International banking group Standard Chartered has become the latest member of a blockchain standard-building organization, the Ethereum Enterprise Alliance (EEA).

    In a press release issued on Nov. 6, Standard Chartered said the move would allow it to expand its client offerings across its 60 international markets.

    Standard Chartered is latest EEA banking member

    “Technology enables us to facilitate trade and investment across our footprint markets, improving client experiences and offering new services,” Group Chief Information Officer, Dr. Michael Gorriz, commented.

    The EEA formed in March 2017 as a collaborative effort exploring the development and implementation of blockchain solutions across economic sectors. Its membership base now runs into the hundreds, with participation from entities including Microsoft, Hyperledger and various other international banks such as Santander and Russia’s Sberbank.

    A formal association with Hyperledger, which itself offers enterprise-grade blockchain tools, came in October last year.

    The EEA also publishes informational material such as blockchain standards documents, among which was a dedicated effort for the telecoms industry in August.

    Increasing blockchain maneuvers

    “We are excited to be a part of the EEA and look forward to opportunities where we can collaborate with other leading industry players to deepen blockchain research and application in the banking sector,” Gorriz added.

    Standard Chartered has already made inroads into blockchain utilization. As Cointelegraph reported, the bank recently completed a supply chain financing scheme and used the technology to send a cross-border letter of credit transaction.

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    Bank of China Rolls out Blockchain to Streamline Insurance Claims

    In line with China’s recent formal endorsement of the technology, one of the largest state-owned financial institutions has just launched its own blockchain. The new Bank of China platform aims to increase transparency and efficiency across the nation’s insurance industry

    The insurance blockchain solution is the product of the bank’s insurance management IT department and partnerships with a number of leading insurance companies. The idea is to upload customers’ policy details to the ledger distributed amongst the network’s participants. Each participant can then access the details quickly as and when they need to as part of a claim process.

    The platform, according to domestic news source Sina, is built using Hyperledger Fabric. This is somewhat surprising given the number of both private and public blockchain projects coming out of China. A recent Nasdaq report compiled evidence from multiple data sources to suggest the nation was already comfortably leading the globe in blockchain development even before the government endorsement.

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    Bank of China and IBM

    However, the Bank of China did recently do a deal with IBM. Given last month’s partnership to explore financial technology between the two, the choice to work with Hyperledger Fabric makes more sense.

    It seems that the Bank of China has been preparing to onboard users to its insurance blockchain solution for some time already. The institution had reportedly accumulated more than four million policies by September.

    Bank of China

    Bank of China

    Although Bank of China’s preparations for its new insurance blockchain initiative have likely been in the works for a while, we are expecting to see many more blockchains launched by other state-owned and private entities in China thanks to the government endorsement. For example, BeInCryptoreported on the recent partnership between Huawei and the People’s Bank of China (China’s central bank) to explore blockchain technology.

    Clearly, the endorsement of blockchain technology is a huge boon for both local and international blockchain companies. How the news impacts the cryptocurrency market is an entirely different question, however.

    Bitcoin’s Reaction

    The Bitcoin price rose from around $7,500 to over $10,000 in a matter of hours following the announcement. Other projects, particularly those based in China, fared similarly. However, since the announcement, there have been some decidedly mixed messages from the government.

    Bank of China

    Bank of China

    Amongst the few potentially exciting developments for cryptocurrency enthusiasts are blockchain learning materials published on by the Chinese government including references to Bitcoin and Ethereum. Meanwhile, the government also appears to be taking a softer stance towards the mining of cryptocurrency. BeInCrypto reported as such earlier today.

    However, such developments have been accompanied by warnings on state-media against speculating on virtual currencies. This followed an earlier commentary published by The People’s Daily Newspaper, the official mouthpiece of the government. Whilst acknowledging the benefits of blockchain technology, it urged the public to stay rational when it came to crypto-assets.


    Images courtesy of Shutterstock.


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    Blockchain group rolls out program to boost deployment, speed, efficiency of tech

    Mackenzie GarrityWednesday, November 6th, 2019 | Email

    Hyperledger, an open source collaborative effort to advance blockchain technologies, announced Nov. 5 that it has launched its Hyperledger Certified Service Provider program.

    Members of the program have been pre-qualified and vetted to help other organizations successfully adopt blockchain technologies. The first companies involved in the program are Accenture, Ant Financial, Beijing PeerSafe Technology Co., Chainyard and IBM.

    The HCSP program aims to ensure members master how to install, configure, operate, manage and troubleshoot networks built on blockchains. Accenture and the other certified service providers offer support, consulting, professional services and training.

    To become a certified member, organizations must be a Hyperledger member, have three or more engineers who have passed the certified Hyperledger administrator exam and have a business model to support end users.

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