West Virginia Secretary of State Reports Successful Blockchain Voting in 2018 Midterm Elections

The Secretary of State of the U.S. state of West Virginia Mac Warner reported a successful first instance of remote blockchain voting in an official announcement Nov. 15. Warner stated that in the 2018 midterm elections, 144 military personnel stationed overseas from 24 counties were able to cast their ballots on a mobile, blockchain-based platform called Voatz, adding: “This is a first-in-the-nation project that allowed uniformed services members and overseas citizens to use a mobile application to cast a ballot secured by blockchain technology.” Voting for the general elections on…

Crimea Considers Blockchain Center for Anonymous Foreign Investments to Avoid Sanctions

Crimean authorities are considering creating a blockchain-cluster that would support investment platforms allowing foreign investors to work in sanctioned countries anonymously, major state-operated Russian news agency TASS reported Nov. 16. Previously this week, the Permanent Representative of the Republic of Crimea under the President of the Russian Federation, Georgy Muradov, had already revealed the Crimean government’s potential plans to create a separate blockchain-cluster in the region for venture capitalists funds. Today, Roman Kulachenko, the President of the Crimean Republican Association of Blockchain Technologies Investment, said that a new international education…

Global Charity Oxfam Launches Blockchain Project to Empower Cambodian Rice Farmers

Twitter Facebook LinkedIn Global charity organization Oxfam has launched a blockchain technology platform aimed at enhancing the transparency and traceability of the rice supply chain in Cambodia. Known as BlocRice, the app uses distributed ledger technology to implement smart contracts where details such as the farm gate price of organic rice, trade volume and method of transportation are recorded, according to the Khmer Times. The project which will initially work with 50 rice farmers in Cambodia’s Preah Vihear province during the first year is expected to boost the bargaining power…

Korea’s KAIST University Adds Blockchain Application Courses to Curriculum

South Korea’s leading technology university, the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST), is working with Theta Labs, the first blockchain-based video delivery system, to introduce students to an entirely new set of coursework regarding the applications of blockchain technology.   “We’re kicking things off with a seminar at the electrical engineering school this Friday [the 16th] where we’ll be providing a high-level overview of blockchain technology and current trends in development,” Theta Labs CEO Mitch Liu told Bitcoin Magazine. “We’ll also start a student club focused on the Theta…

Microsoft Releases Cloud-Based Azure Blockchain Development Kit

American software corporation Microsoft has released a serverless blockchain-powered Azure development kit, according to an announcement published Nov. 15. The new product dubbed the “Azure Blockchain Development Kit” purportedly improves the capabilities of Microsoft’s Azure Blockchain Workbench. It contains features like off-chain identity and data, monitoring, and messaging application programming interfaces (API) in a format that can be used to develop blockchain-based apps. Per the blog post, the initial release will focus on three core objectives, such as “connecting interfaces, integrating data and systems, and deploying smart contracts and blockchain…

Sberbank CEO Says Industrial Scale Blockchain Adoption Is 1-2 Years Away

The head of major state-owned Russian bank Sberbank has forecast that blockchain adoption will happen on an industrial scale in one to two years, local news agency TASS reported Nov. 13. Speaking to journalists this week, Sberbank CEO Herman Gref explained that the technology is entering the stage of its industrial development: “The hype around the technology [blockchain] is now over, and the technology is entering the stage of industrial development. It needs a year or two to be implemented at the industrial scale.” Gref argued that global markets are…

South Korea’s Gyeongbuk Province Launches ‘Special Committee’ to Create Blockchain Hub

The government of South Korea’s Gyeongbuk province has launched a “Blockchain Special Committee” with the goal of creating a blockchain hub in the region, local media outlet Daily News reported Nov. 14. North Gyeongsang Province, also known as Gyeongbuk, plans to create a blockchain hub, inviting 40 domestic and foreign experts in the industry to consult on the project. Lee Cheol-uoo – a former member of the National Assembly of South Korea and current governor of the province – explained to local media the aims of the newly established committee…

Regulatory Clarity Will Drive Crypto, Blockchain Adoption

Twitter Facebook LinkedIn Commenting on the importance of regulation in the technology sector, Brad Garlinghouse, CEO of Ripple, said that introducing regulations will lead to blockchain and cryptocurrency adoption. Garlinghouse made these remarks while talking to the Deputy General Counsel, Ross Leckow, of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) at the Singapore Fintech Festival. The topic of their discussion revolved around the regulatory frameworks emerging in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). Some of the ASEAN members include Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, Philippines, among others. The Importance of Internet of Value “Regulatory clarity…

Spanish Telecoms Operator Partners With IBM to Manage International Calls With Blockchain

IBM and major Spanish telecommunications firm Telefónica have partnered to apply blockchain technology to managing international mobile phone call traffic, per a press release shred with Cointelegraph Nov. 14. Telefónica is the seventh largest telecom company in the world by market capitalization, valued at $51 billion according to Forbes. The company carries out communications business in 17 countries, with 343 million customers. The collaboration with IBM aims to streamline certain Telefónica business processes and address various challenges in the field, including the reliability and transparency of information registered from different…

Insurance Giant Ping An, Sanya City Gov’t to Build ‘Smart City’ with Blockchain

China’s Ping An Insurance Group, one of the world’s largest insurance corporations, and the Sanya municipal government signed a strategic cooperation agreement for “Smart City” construction. The new project will be backed with blockchain tech, artificial intelligence (AI), big data, and cloud computing, the official state run press People’s Daily reported Nov. 14. Ping An Group signed a strategic agreement with the Sanya Municipal People’s Government to carry out comprehensive cooperation on financial investment and “Smart City” construction as a part of a major strategic urban development in China. The…