Blockchain as Key to Vienna’s Digital Future — Interview with Ulrike Huemer, CIO of Vienna, Austria

Austria is Europe’s leader in terms of applying modern day technology to better the all-around welfare of its citizens. Making cities “smart” and digital is a key part of transforming public goods and services in order to reach that goal. Vienna is especially keen on innovation, trying to find new solutions by way of digitization. Easy access and clear-cut benefits are key aspects to finding broad acceptance among Vienna citizens, making them willingly partake and help to better the transformation process.   To further the breakthrough of digital technologies and make…

2020 Presidential Hopeful Yang Says Blockchain, Crypto Must Be Big Part of US Future

American entrepreneur and Democratic 2020 presidential candidate Andrew Yang has said that blockchain should be a big part of the United States’ future, Bloomberg reported on May 15. Speaking at the Consensus conference in New York, Yang — who is well known for his progressive pro-universal basic income stance — reportedly stated that: “I believe that blockchain needs to be a big part of our future. If I’m in the White House, oh boy are we going to have some fun in terms of the crypto currency community.” A challenger…

Blockchain Sister Startups Allegedly Pull $8 Million Exit Scam

Blockchain startups RepuX and JoyToken have reportedly pulled a joint initial coin offering (ICO) exit scam, according to an exposé by Hard Fork of The Next Web (TNW) on May 16. RepuX and JoyToken reportedly ran their ICO promotions during March and April of 2018, and are now walking away with $4.7 million and $3.3 million, respectively. As far as the startups’ stated plans were concerned, Hard Fork reports: “RepuX claimed that it was trying to build what it called a ‘blockchain-powered data marketplace,’ while JoyToken was trying to create…

Big Four Firm KPMG Identifies Top Four Skills Required for Blockchain Career

Big Four auditing firm KPMG has identified the top four skills needed for a blockchain-related career, in a press release shared with Cointelegraph on May 16. KPMG suggests that an increasing number of companies will investigate blockchain technology this year. “Blockchain projects will not succeed or scale without a multifaceted team that goes beyond technologists,” the firm states, thus identifying the four major skills needed for a career in the industry. KPMG argues that the successful deployment of blockchain tech depends on professionals with both technology literacy and business acumen.…

Top Banks ‘Investing $50 Million’ to Build Blockchain Settlement System

Some of the world’s biggest banks are said to be investing around $50 million to build a blockchain-based digital cash settlement system. A Reuters report on Friday, citing “people familiar with the plans,” said possibly a dozen unspecified banks are involved in the project. The participating banks will reportedly be setting up a new entity called Fnality for the project, which could launch next year. Back in 2015, Swiss banking giant UBS was said to be working on a cryptocurrency that would be “linked to real-world currencies and connected to…

World Bank, CommBank Team Up for ‘World First’ Blockchain Bond Transaction

The World Bank and the Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CommBank) have teamed up to enable recording of secondary market bond trading using blockchain tech. The institutions announced Wednesday that their successful recording of a secondary transaction for bond-i, a blockchain-operated debt instrument, on a distributed ledger shows the “vast potential” of the technology, and marks the first bond to have both issuance and trading recorded on a blockchain platform. Bond-i was first issued last August by the World Bank, with the CommBank being a sole arranger. The experiment helped the World Bank…

Ava Labs Exits Stealth, Launches Blockchain Testnet Based on ‘Avalanche’ Protocol

Blockchain startup Ava Labs is coming out of stealth and starting to open up its blockchain network — backed by a new consensus algorithm — to developers and users. Ava Labs is launching a private testnet of their technology today at Token Summit, one of the many conferences taking place during Blockchain Week NYC. Though the blockchain network isn’t ready for real money quite yet, this step is notable because, for the first time, developers outside the organization will be able to put the new code to the test based…

World Bank Leads Secondary Market Phase of Bond-I Blockchain Bond

The World Bank and Commonwealth Bank have successfully enabled secondary market trading of a blockchain bond, the institutions confirmed in a press release on May 15. The bond, known as bond-i, uses the Ethereum (ETH) blockchain and was the first in the world to leverage the technology fully when it debuted in August last year. Now, a three-way partnership which also included market maker TD Securities delivered what the participants consider a similar first and a further metamorphosis for blockchain bonds. “Enabling secondary trading recorded on the blockchain is a…

Louis Vuitton and Christian Dior Owner Unveils Blockchain Platform to Verify Luxury Goods

ConsenSys has teamed up with LVMH and Microsoft to build a blockchain-powered platform that allows consumers to verify the authenticity of luxury goods, according to a news release on May 16. The consortium says the system, known as Aura, is designed to “serve the entire luxury industry with powerful product tracking and tracing services.” LVMH brands including Louis Vuitton and Christian Dior are already involved in the project — and discussions are underway to extend Aura to other high-end names within the group. The news release added: “AURA makes it possible for consumers…

Blockchain Infrastructure Firm Blockstream Launches Security Token Platform

Blockchain infrastructure firm Blockstream announced the launch of its security token platform in a press release shared with Cointelegraph on May 15. Per the announcement, the new Liquid Securities platform is a solution for businesses to issue security tokens on the Liquid Network. Blockstream Chief Security Officer Samson Mow claims that while businesses are willing to issue tokenized securities, platforms such as Ethereum are not the right choice because of their scalability, privacy and reliability limitations. Blockstream claims that its platform is more suitable for such use: “Now, with the…