A command unit of the US Navy is seeking to explore the potential of blockchain to track aircraft parts

US Navy to explore the potential blockchain tracking aircraft parts

A command unit of the US Navy is seeking to explore the potential of blockchain to track aircraft parts.

In a statement, the Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) said it is looking into following parts throughout the parts life-cycle more efficiently and cost-effectively using the blockchain technology.

“Knowing the origin and history of flight-critical aircraft parts is a resource-consuming process that drives up the cost to operate military aircraft. The Navy hopes to change the way it tracks the lineage of parts,” NAVAIR said.

NAVAIR’s Fleet Readiness Center Southwest has partnered with Indiana Technology and Manufacturing Companies (FRCSW), developers of the SIMBA chain, for this initiative. SIMBA chain is a product of an Army lead DARPA project for tracking secure messages using blockchain.

Under the cooperative research and development agreement, the Navy can access “cutting-edge chain code as well as innovative protocols that can quickly and securely recall large data sets.” Both parties hope to come up a conceptual framework for a blockchain supply system which provides visibility and security.

“When all of the nodes supporting a supply chain become connected, it increases the vulnerability so special consideration must be given to cyber-security. By bringing the experts together early in the development of possible architectures, the authorities will better understand the risk and reward of a connected distributed system,” NAVAIR said.

“Public blockchains start with zero trust and rely on computation power in the “proof of work” consensus methods. The Navy model will be a permissioned chain with a consensus mechanism requiring less computing power,” it said, noting their existing trusted network.

At present, NAVAIR, which provides material support for aircraft and airborne weapons systems for the US Navy, traces the parts using pen and paper on a Scheduled Removal Component Card and manually entered into a database once these parts are delivered to them.

“The Navy is very excited to work with ITAMCO on this cutting-edge technology to improve visibility, anti-tampering, traceability and data transparency in the NAVAIR supply chain,” George Blackwood, Logistics Management Specialist F/A-18A-E & EA-18G ISSC North Island Fleet Support Team, said.

“The Fleet Readiness Center is excited to be in the middle of this collaboration and well-positioned as a Maintenance Repair and Overhaul facility that currently manages relationships with much of the Naval Aviation Enterprise,” NAVAIR stated.

In June, the US Navy’s innovation unit unveiled its plans to test blockchain’s potential to bolster the security of its manufacturing systems. It would be done by applying the technology to its processes known as 3-D printing to “securely share data throughout the manufacturing process” as it forms “critical” equipment for deployed forces.

“This summer the [Naval Innovation Advisory Council] will conduct a series of experiments (including a proof of concept) using blockchain technology to both securely share data between Additive Manufacturing sites, as well as help secure the digital thread of design and production,” Lieutenant commander Jon McCarter said in a blog post at that time.

Discovering new avenues to exchange details between building sites “will form the foundation for future advanced manufacturing initiatives,” he added.

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Microsoft Linking Blockchain to its Products

Microsoft Linking Blockchain to its Products

Expect blockchain to be integrated in all Microsoft products soon.

Microsoft is somewhat discreet on its blockchain initiatives but its general manager of Microsoft Azure, Matt Kerner, has spilled the tea. He said the technology giant has been establishing connections between its blockchain services and its major infrastructure and platforms to allow customers port their data from these platforms into the cloud, and eventually onto the blockchain technology.

These products cover Office 365 Outlook, SharePoint Online, Salesforce, Dynamics 365 CRM Online, SAP, and Twitter. Essentially, Microsoft is incorporating tools like Microsoft Flow and Logic Apps into Azure Blockchain Workbench, a service unveiled in May to make the development of blockchain applications easier.

Microsoft explained the distributed ledger technology (DLT), in a cloud environment such as Azure, collates data from several companies in a standardized format at scale. The firm stipulated the DLT’s potential to mine data becomes limitless.

Kerner pointed out the latest move is part of the evolution of Big Data. Before the introduction of blockchain, cloud computing enabled documents to break out of their data silos and work together on heterogeneous data sets; thus, bolstering smarts via machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI).

“Blockchain empowers the next step – enabling a single, authentic data set shared across counterparties. This is already improving the way transactions happen. We believe the same will be true with data analytics,” Kerner said.

With enterprise blockchain, Kerner said many customers get the structured and formatted data part thrown in free of charge. “What blockchain is doing is creating a multi-party business process that is moving out of email, phone calls, spreadsheets and into a single system with a single view on the data that all of the participants can rely upon and trust,” he added.

“Even the fiercest of competitors can onboard and mutually derive benefit from that system and find new revenue streams,” he added.

Azure’s project is akin to Insurwave which simplifies maritime insurance for shipping hauls delivered by Maersk. The platform, designed using R3’s Corda platform, with assistance from EY and Guardtime, is now commercially produced with insurers including MS Amlin, Willis Towers Watson, and XL Catlin.

Insurwave tracks cargos and modifies insurance premiums up-to-date, gathers all kinds of data from internet of things (IoT) sensors monitoring temperature, to whether the ship is going to encounter a storm, or get into a war zone or an area hugely populated with pirates. Kerner explained that once these details are shared on the blockchain, Microsoft’s business analytics tool, Power BI, can be utilized to gain insights on shipping hauls.

Aside from the one-click Corda capability, the integration of Corda into modules within the Azure marketplace is an advantage. “This enables Corda to plug into a number of different capabilities including Azure SQL, active directory for identity access management and key vault for key management, Ricardo Correia, managing director and head of partner management at R3, said.

Correia mentioned that Microsoft is gaining ground in supply chain probably with lower fanfare. “It’s in their interest given they too have very large supply chains with a number of their product offerings,” he added.

Kerner said that all entities are scrambling to create a consortium outside the Azure arena. “It’s got to be open. Any meaningful consortium is going to have members who have different choices that they have made around their cloud provider and who they choose to work with,” he said.

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Japan Telco Giant Wants to Bank on Blockchain

Japan Telco Giant Wants to Bank on Blockchain

Japanese telecommunications giant Nippon Telegraph and Telephone (NTT) has set its sights on blockchain to develop an application for recording new contract agreements using the technology. 

In its patent application published online, NTT said the entire system is “a simple method… maintaining the mode of one electronic signature per transaction, and maintaining credibility.” 

The firm has demonstrated how it intends to use blockchain to design a system to store contracts without allowing for documents to be altered. The technology, it said,  will be utilized to both encrypt the contract and store those in a decentralized way to harmonize the verification process. 

NTT said “the receiver of a transaction on an issued contract generates a transaction including its agreement on the contract and links the generated transaction to the contract transaction. Then, after all the involved parties link their transactions, the last transaction is returned to the contract-issuing party to close the chain of transactions.” 

“The present invention uses a blockchain as evidence of a contract made among a plurality of parties. A contract here refers to a sales contract, a deed of transfer, an application, a consent agreement, or the like, and is a document describing the content of a contract made among two or more individuals or bodies,” it added. 

Those who intend to engage in the deal would connect transactions to the primary digital contract transaction which would eventually be returned to the contract-issuing party to seal a bunch of transactions. 

There would be an “agreement verification apparatus” once the deal is closed to ensure the contents of the contract is correct. Validation will be done by comparing the public keys used for electronic signature at the beginning of the blockchain with the ones used at the end. 

Ahead of the announcement, NTT, the fourth biggest telephone operating company worldwide, said last year that emerging technologies including blockchain, internet of things, and artificial intelligence made information and communications technology (ICT) needs “more complex.” 

This, as NTT revealed that Vantis Consulting Group became its first partner in Hong Kong to become part of its Global Management One (GMOne) Managed Services Partner Program, expanding the GMOne’s presence across the Asian region. This would allow Hong Kong entities to enjoy one-stop, seamless service portfolio. 

“By leveraging their strong implementation track record and local expertise for deploying cloud business applications for enterprises, especially SAP applications, we will be able to expand our footprint in Asia and ensure that our end customers get the right services and support they need in their cloud migration journey,” Hirofumi Miyama, senior vice president of managed services at NTT, said at that time. 

“We are proud to become the first Hong Kong partner for NTT Com’s GMOne managed services. The partnership cements our business objectives and helps us to better meet the ICT needs of our expanding pool of customers. It will definitely help us to build deeper relationships with our existing customers as they transform their business to become more digital and embrace new technological advances,” Rocky Lam, chief executive officer of Vantis, had said.

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Blockchain Spending Close to $12B Mark: Report

Blockchain Spending Close to $12B Mark

Spending related to the blockchain technology is projected to hit the $12 billion mark in the next four years, based on a report by the International Data Corporation (IDC). 

Total spending on projects in the blockchain industry is expected to rise annually at a growth rate of almost 75 percent until 2022, analysts at the firm said in the report entitled “Worldwide Semiannual Blockchain Spending Guide.” Specifically, global spending is seen to reach $11.7 billion in 2022 alone, compared to the $1.5 billion estimated spending for this year. 

Financial sector is mostly expected to allocate a significant amount of money, with banks being one of the early adopters of the blockchain technology. Data shows the sector alone has spent $552 million this year, followed by the distribution and services sector with $379 million. 

Manufacturing and resources sector, which has shelled out $334 million this year, “will be driven by the discrete and process manufacturing industries. In the U.S., the distribution and services sector will see the largest blockchain investments.” 

“From a technology perspective, IT services and business services (combined) will account for roughly 70 percent of all blockchain spending throughout the forecast with spending fairly well balanced across the two categories. Blockchain platform software will be the largest category of spending outside of the services category and one of the fastest growing categories overall, along with security software,” it said. 

The United States will witness the largest blockchain-related investments and deliver over 36 percent of global spending. Western Europe, meanwhile, is seen to be the next biggest region for such a spending, followed by China and the Asia Pacific (excluding China and Japan). 

“All nine regions covered in the spending guide will see phenomenal spending growth over the 2018-2022 forecast period with Japan and Canada leading the way with CAGRs of 108.7% and 86.7%, respectively,” the report noted. 

About $193 million has been spent on cross-border payments and settlements being the most popular use case for the technology. Lot/lineage provenance ($160 million) and trade finance and post-trade/transaction settlements ($148 million) came in second and third, respectively. 

Both information technology and business services will account for nearly 70 percent of all blockchain spending, the IDC noted, with spending “well balanced” between the two sectors. Blockchain platform software, on the other hand, is anticipated to be the biggest spender outside the services category. Together with security software, it is also expected to be one of the fastest growing segments as well. 

Jessica Goepfert, program vice president for the International Data Corporation, said that moving forward, some uses for blockchain are not going to disappear at any given time. “We continue to see the greatest spending and growth for blockchain around lot lineage and asset and goods management … Manufacturers want to ensure products arrive where they are supposed to arrive. Retailers and wholesalers seek assurance around the validity and quality of the products they are selling. And consumers are demanding greater transparency from providers,” Goepfert said.

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IBM Wants to Keep Tabs of Milestones

IBM Wants to Keep Tabs of Milestones

US technology company International Business Machines (IBM) is soliciting the help of blockchain, enabling developers to record and classify coding updates and milestones, public records show. 

IBM filed its application at the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) to utilize the distributed shared ledger in creating “a secure and robust approach to track and to append information related to collaborative coding for the purpose of credit, reward, and dispute resolution, and for other purposes.” 

Essentially, the application, dubbed as “Blockchain For Program Code Credit and Programmer Contribution in a Collective,” intends to utilize the technology to track the significant gains made by coders as they collaborate on certain projects. The proposed system will aid in giving the appropriate credit to some programmers. 

The firm noted in its patent filing that producing a computer program code using the blockchain technology entails the plurality of computer codes forming a distributed network. Each node communicates directly with other nodes. This is operated by a user through a common smart contract. 

“Code transactions and parameters associated with a stakeholder are compiled into a chain of programmer transaction blockchain blocks. The chain can be considered a chronicle of a piece of software, …and the code “status” path through its recent history or complete history can be tracked, along with its various programmers, though the lifetime and versions of the code, various history parameters, etc.,” the company said. 

“Once the new block has been calculated, it can be appended to the stakeholder’s application software history blockchain, as described above. The block may be updated in response to many triggers, such as, when a programmer selects a button on a graphical user interface (GUI) on a computer display showing a code editor to add code, when a unit test has been completed, when a code integration is completed, when an assigned work item is closed, and so forth,” it added. 

This is not the first time that IBM sought to secure a regulatory approval to maximize the potential of blockchain in its business. In April, the company wanted to patent a system to ensure a web of connected devices can facilitate blockchain-driven smart contracts in a safe and effective manner. 

Blockchain configuration, IBM explained in its application, noted a huge amount of information is related to financial transactions. The increasing popularity of this system heightens the desire to integrate more features on the blockchain technology. 

IBM had said “one example method of operation may include determining a proof-of-work via a device and using a predefined set of nonce values when determining the proof-of-work, storing the proof-of-work on a blockchain, and broadcasting the proof-of-work as a broadcast message.” 

Another example might be a non-transitory computer readable medium designed to keep instructions “that when executed causes a processor to perform one or more of determining a proof-of-work via a device.” 

IBM unveiled in 2015 its proof-of-concept, Autonomous Decentralized Peer-to-Peer Telemetry (ADEPT), that was developed in partnership with Samsung. Both companies chose BitTorrent (file sharing), Ethereum (smart contracts), and TeleHash (peer-to-peer messaging) to complete their work.

“Applying the blockchain concept to the world of [Internet of Things] offers fascinating possibilities. Right from the time a product completes final assembly, it can be registered by the manufacturer into a universal blockchain representing its beginning of life. Once sold, a dealer or end customer can register it to a regional blockchain (a community, city or state),” the IBM explained. 

For the longest time, the challenge of connecting Internet of Things (IoT) devices using blockchain has attracted numerous entities and developers.


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Spain Urged to Boost Oversight Using Blockchain

Spain Urged to Boost Oversight Using Blockchain

The Spanish government is being pressed to strengthen its oversight powers with the intervention of the blockchain technology. 

The government should utilize the distributed shared ledger to manage their public administration more effectively, Popular Party, the country’s ruling party, said in its position paper submitted to the Congress of Deputies, the lower chamber of the parliament. 

The party is proposing to “introduce Blockchain technology in the Spanish public sector with the aim of improving internal processes and provide traceability, robustness and transparency in decision making,” the party said in their proposal translated from Spanish.  

It also calls for the development of blockchain through the public-private partnership to “favor secondary markets for goods and services that lower costs, increase productivity and encourage the creation of specialized employment,” as well as the training of people for using the technology “to improve the implementation.” 

Incorporating blockchain in various initiatives such as administrative concessions, internal processes, or concessions “will encourage greater control, traceability, and transparency.” Aside from that, the utilization of this technology can generate extra revenue to the government by promoting new schemes of exchange of rights in different sectors including energy, infrastructure, logistics, and tourism. 

“Moreover, the lawmakers recommended building public and private blockchain models “in order to favor secondary markets for goods and services that lower costs, increase productivity and encourage the creation of specialized employment,” the document stated. 

“Therefore, we must promote the measures that are appropriate for this new concept of service exchange to survive and be introduced with force in the digital world in order to guarantee the security, efficiency and transparency of all transactions in the network,” it added. 

However, the paper, which was submitted by 133 members of the leading party, did not outline any timeline or specific plans to roll out blockchain. 

But it cited several entities that have invested in the technology including the BBVA with Coinbase, Bankinter with Coinffeine, or Santander with Utility Settlement Coin. 

“Outside Spain, one of the main banks in Estonia has developed a wallet that uses Bitcoin to send free and instant money and other countries such as Germany, the United States and Japan have already launched this new model of digital transactions,” the proposal said. 

Aside from blockchain, the paper touched on the European Commission’s plan to involve its member countries to have a coordinated deployment of the 5G networks by 2020 at the latest. This will be achieved by supporting innovation and prepare its institution on or before their target implementation date. 

This will be possible because of the support and encouragement from European countries “and the industry a global and integrated approach to the standardization of the 5G and working in a coordinated way, therefore, all the countries of the European Union.” 

“Throughout this process, the role of the public sector as a promoter of solutions based on 5G technology and the private as a developer and promoter will be fundamental,” the paper noted.

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Bankers Beat the Drum for Blockchain

Bankers Beat the Drum for Blockchain

A number of bankers have touted the beauty of the blockchain in a recent conference in London. 

Many of them have expressed their enthusiasm about trade finance as the next ‘tourist’ destination for the distributed shared ledger. During last week’s conference, they discussed the digital trade finance platforms they are currently developing and the potential cost reduction from utilizing the online system. 

Trade finance is a business amounting to more than $9 trillion across the globe, based on l a  report by the International Chamber of Commerce. 

“We expect to see a reduction of 70 percent to 80 percent in costs on supply chain management by using blockchain,” Amit Varma, chief technology officer of Citibank, told attendees of the Blockchain Summit, noting their expected savings from utilizing the technology in all aspects of the supply chain management. 

“Blockchain is good for areas that have resisted digitization,” Xavier Laurent, head of blockchain community at French financial institution Credit Agricole, said. Despite the situation, he noted some governments are pressing the brakes and opting to stick with the paper process of managing the supply.  

“We will have some jurisdictions where all transactions are going on the blockchain. But there are other geographic regions where the legal and regulatory risk means you will still use paper,” Laurent said. 

Varma talked about the fully automated platform being developed by Citi, which, according to him, would integrate the blockchain technology into artificial intelligence and internet of things.  

With the platform, Varma said the AI would bolster the trigger points in the system which include requirements to be fulfilled before making any payment and the issuance of a contract. Conversely, IoT sensors could assume the verification process usually done by humans. 

“Shipments monitored using IoT devices can give everyone on the blockchain an idea of where the shipment is. We are moving towards real time, to a point where the blockchain platform will trigger a payment when goods are received,” Varma explained. But he did not divulge other details related to the Citi system they are designing. 

Meanwhile, other bankers touched on the likelihood of tokenization in trade finance. 

The utilization of tokens to represent assets on a blockchain could free up liquidity, giving the example of invoices, “which are not very liquid assets, so this could make them more liquid and distribute them better,” Laurent said. 

The tokenization of trade finance can be implemented so that financial institutions are no longer pressed to tap fundings in using invoices, Lee Pruitt, chief executive officer of ethereum-based startup InstaSupply, said. “An approved invoice is an asset from an accounting standpoint. A token means anyone, not just banks, can participate in the purchase of this asset,” he added. 

Despite the promotion of blockchain in trade finance, others have noticed room for improvement. 

There is another $1.5 trillion of potential trade finance business which is not being maximized at the moment in some places such as parts of Asia and Africa, according to Sean Edwards, head of legal at Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp. 

Placing an efficient know-your-customer (KYC) scheme is necessary,” Edwards, who also heads the International Trade Finance Association (ITFA), said. 

“Trade finance is event-driven, punctuated with invoices, purchase orders etc. What you find is the pre-shipment stages are very poorly served; banks are bad at providing finance to early-stage small suppliers,” he said. 

The association’s focus as of date is to clear certain hurdles including the work being done by IBM with shipping company Maersk. “It’s a document of title so understanding the process, it helps to be a lawyer,” he noted. 

Aside from that, Edwards has also been collaborating with Marco Polo, the trade finance network designed by R3 and TradeIX, that includes BNP Paribas, Commerzbank, ING, and Standard Chartered Bank, among others.

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Spain Watchdog Finishes Blockchain Test

Spain Watchdog Finishes Blockchain Test

Spain’s regulator and a group of financial institutions has completed the exploration of a blockchain pilot which aims to test the distributed ledger technology for enlisting issuances of stock warrants, the former announced.

Initial results from testing the Fast Track Listing (FTL) project, a joint undertaking of the Spanish National Securities Market Commission (CNMV) and banks including Banco Santander, BBVA, BNP Paribas, CaixaBank, Commerzbank, and Société Générale, test were promising.

“After obtaining such good results, CNMV has decided to continue exploring the possible uses of this technology in its processes and carry on with the project. BME and all the national warrant issuers (BBVA, Caixabank and Banco Santander), as well as international warrant issuers (BNP Paribas, Commerzbank and Société Générale), are also actively contributing to this project,” they said.

The project revolves around a concept that shared databases can be used to better record details regarding warrants issuance, contracts holding the right to obtain new shares at a particular price before its expiration, as well as filter the information to all parties.

Banco Santander said the initiative showed the time to enlist a warrant issuance was reduced by over 70 percent using this platform. It has proven it is viable to complete the procedure in 48 hours compared with the usual time frame of more than a week, attributing it to the connection of all the systems, automatic validation of requirements, and transparency.

Moving forward, the group is now set for further proofs-of-concept around the technology. CNMV said it decided to continue looking into the likely applications of the blockchain technology in its processes and to further the program.

Despite the success, other regulators have remained skeptical about blockchain’s potential. Earlier this month, Kit Malthouse, Conservative MP of the UK House of Commons, responded to a question raised by Martin Docherty-Hughes of West Dunbartonshire about the potential applications of the technology. The representative asked the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what recommendations were presented to her Department following the trials which GovCoin undertook on the blockchain use for the welfare and benefits system; and whether the outcome will be revealed.

“In 2016, DWP ran a trial proof of concept on a small scale and the findings concluded that it was not viable due to limited take up potential and the expenses it would incur. No other companies were involved in the trial and no benefit or personal data was shared with GovCoin (DISC) on claimants,” Kit Malthouse said.

The statement was made noting the findings of tests using the distributed ledger technology administered by the Dutch central bank. It recognized that blockchain cannot respond to the needs of financial markets infrastructure.

Major hurdles they encountered are the following: insufficient capacity, inefficiency because high energy consumption, and lack of complete certainty on payments. Still, it appears the resilience of a financial market infrastructure against external threats could be bolstered by using blockchain although it happens at the expense of capacity and efficiency, among others.

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Blockchain Research Hub to Rise in Stanford University

Blockchain Research Hub to Rise in Stanford University

Stanford University, one of the leading universities in the United States, is launching its own blockchain-oriented research hub. 

The Center for Blockchain Research, sponsored by a group of cryptocurrency startups and organizations, is seeking to come up with the best practices for blockchain by gathering the university’s scientists and the industry’s top leaders, the Stanford Engineering said in a statement. 

“In addition to research, center scientists are creating courses to help future students and working professionals use blockchain to develop financial instruments, protect intellectual property, manage vital records and more,” it added. 

Stanford University explained blockchain enables traceability, security, and transparency. Therefore, several companies are exploring how the technology can be used to improve supply chain management, fast-track real estate transactions and the transfer of deeds, or modernize voting technology, among others. 

“Blockchains will become increasingly critical to doing business globally. Stanford should be at the forefront of efforts to improve, apply and understand the many ripple effects of this technology,” Boneh said, a Rajeev Motwani Professor in the School of Engineering whose specialty includes cryptography and computer security.  

“Blockchain massively lowers the barriers to creating tradeable, digital assets. It allows individuals who don’t know each other, or even trust one another, to make irreversible transactions in a whole variety of fields in a safe and secure way,” Mazières said. 

It will be headed by professors Dan Boneh and David Mazières, experts in cryptocurrencies and blockchain. They will be joined by Alex Aiken, David Dill, John Mitchell, Tim Roughgarden and law school faculty Joe Grundfest. 

Sponsors include the Ethereum Foundation, Protocol Labs, and the Interchain Foundation. OmiseGO, DFINITY Stiftung, and Polychain Capital are supporting the planned research center as well. 

Ethereum creator Vitalik Buterin, a co-founder of the Ethereum Foundation, announced the latest initiative in a Twitter post. 

The industry does not find this latest news surprising at all, given previous reports that such classes have attracted some American universities. 

Earlier, the University of California, Berkeley said it would start offering a three-month, online professional certificate program for blockchain. The two-part course, according to the university, would be focusing on cryptocurrencies and permissioned blockchains to equip their students for careers in developing the distributed ledger technology for businesses. 

Specifically, this would center on powering students with strong fundamental blockchain literacy and the basic knowledge needed to enter any type of technical and non-technical blockchain career, according to a report by Computerworld.com. 

UC Berkeley said about 7,400 students have already signed up for the program. 

“We’ve had other online courses that have done well, mainly STEM-related content… but I’d say this course’s early results show very impressive enrollments,” Suzanne Harrison, director of design and development at the university, said. 

This is the first time the UC Berkeley opened such a program to students from various parts of the globe through its online learning platform, and arguably, one of the first few universities to include blockchain in its course offerings worldwide.

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Sweden Land Agency Finishes Blockchain Project

Sweden Land Agency Finishes Blockchain Project

Sweden’s land registry authority announced it has recently concluded the third stage of its ongoing blockchain pilot. 

Lantmäteriet, the government agency responsible for mapping, cadastral and land registration, said it has passed the testing checkpoint with the help of its partners including financial companies SBAB Bank and Landshypotek, blockchain startup ChromaWay, technology consultancy Kairos Future, real estate search portal Svensk Fastighetsförmedling, telecom Telai Sverige, and information technology (IT) firm Evry. 

Participating firms contributed various elements which make up the components of the blockchain pilot.  

For instance, Evry and Teila assisted in validating a live transaction between a buyer and a seller.  

This week, the land registry authority demonstrated the client-side verification of government-approved digital signatures and the last phase of exporting the necessary legal contracts. 

According to them, the the smart contract used in processing the transaction adheres to existing laws and regulations of the European Union such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) privacy rules. 

“In a distributed environment such as a blockchain, you cannot have a central server for verifying identities, it all has to be based on signatures and verified by the user,” Henrik Hjelte, ChromaWay’s chief executive, said in a statement. 

“Although the project uses centralized ID services, that is those approved by the government, in a blockchain environment these signatures must be put under the same scrutiny as everything else, and hence we do verify in each and every client all the way up to the root certificate,” project lead Jörgen Modin explained. 

The initiative, which started in the early part of 2017, started when the Lantmäteriet bestowed its go-ahead for the partnership with ChromaWay and other companies to discover how private blockchains can facilitate property transactions. 

Mats Snäll, the agency’s head of development, said this is for the innovation of how land titles are registered. 

“[We] saw that this process was quite conservative. It still consisted of paperwork and such things and [we thought] it would be a good idea to see if that kind of process was possible to change with the help of the blockchain technology,” he said. 

Snäll recalled Lantmäteriet was attracted to the openness and transparency which the technology could potentially provide the agency and the Swedish people. 

“Land titling should be public, it should be open, it should be transparent and safe and secure,” he added. 

Although Sweden’s land registry system is considered an old-fashioned, it is working effectively. Still, Snäll said not everyone is familiar with the distributed shared ledger. 

“Still people ask, ‘What is blockchain?’ It’s still to be seen if one is against it or not. Right now most of the people are curious about it,” he said.


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