Blockchain Technology: How the Food Industry and the Environment Can Benefit

In the food industry, blockchain technology has the potential to reduce inefficiencies, providing more transparency in food safety and strengthening brand value. In the supply chain industry, back-and-forth communication has historically slowed down processes. Now, we have the technology to digitize the supply chain with blockchain at our fingertips.

Food may be wasted at any point during its journey, usually earlier in developing countries, and later in more developed nations. The UN Food and Agriculture Organization estimates that around 40 percent of food production is lost before it even reaches the market.

There are a host of reasons for the waste, but it usually comes down to slack and stringent food quality regulations in developed countries — a lot of this waste occurs because food is improperly handled, shipped, or stored somewhere in the supply chain.

Next steps for blockchain in the food industry

Blockchain technology can help the food industry share assets and information easily, cheaply, and safely. Because the technology makes a supply chain more transparent at an all-new level, it also empowers the entire chain to be more responsive to any food waste. Massive organizations such as Nestlé and Unilever are considering blockchain technologies for that reason.

One reason why we have environmental crises, like the overexploitation of natural resources and excessive food waste, is tied to the lack of accountability and multiple intermediaries in the food sector. Now, eliminating spoilage won’t solve world hunger, but is a step in the right direction of improving the food cycle and reducing waste by making food more affordable and accessible on a global scale.

Similarly to how blockchain technology removed the middle man in banking and brought transparency and efficiency to the supply chain, it can be applied to the food industry. Increasing trust in traceability and sharing awareness and education around the technology will be the cornerstones of a new model that brings together vendors, suppliers, restaurants, retailers and buyers in one decentralized global network.

AI and Smart Algorithms in Action

Perishable and soon to expire food items must be sold with no delay. Spoiled and expired food remains of no use to anyone. The AI and smart algorithms used in Delicia – a global Blockchain powered food network streamlines search, demand and supply, preference and other patterns to optimize search and quickly find a supplier who can address the exact needs of the buyer.

With a global food market in the region of USD 1.7 trillion and expected to rise to USD 3 trillion in 2020, the Delicia Blockchain food network will answer a pressing need for giving restaurateurs and retailers a direct relationship with consumers.

Delicia will help in locating affordable quality food for consumers worldwide that is specific to their own geo-location and preferences. The AI-powered system provides ongoing trust and reputation accrual for sellers and buyers. Efforts are underway to tokenize the Delicia ecosystem with the Ethereum based blockchain technology with a multi-purpose utility token, DFT with the end result being elimination of the Global Food waste crisis. To that end, the company has launched a token sale to facilitate food utilization on the company’s soon to launch blockchain platform.

The team behind the project is also engaged in a conversation with the United Nations and pursuing a collaborative agreement under their Sustainable Developments Goal. Such a partnership could provide significant opportunities for involvement and investment in addition to benefiting communities around the world.

With the IoT and Delicia’s model, real-time, end-to-end supply chain visibility is achievable, no matter where the food is starting and ending its journey. All of the efforts to reduce food waste and make food more affordable and accessible can be coordinated, eliminating waste at every point in the chain — a win for everyone.

ARXUM Brings Blockchain to the Manufacturing Industry

In a world that develops faster than ever and becomes more globalized and individualized by the day, it’s a challenge for manufacturers to keep up. Today’s consumers want something more, something unique and tailored just for them. But for manufacturers, this is too costly to provide. To meet the new demand, ARXUM, a company run by experienced German engineers, provides a solution based on blockchain technology. ARXUM’s Connection Box interconnects production machines in manufacturing facilities and even across factories, countries and continents. When connected to the ARXUM Connection Box, the machines can communicate on the ARXUM Production Network, downloading information like process orders directly from the blockchain. All information sent on the network is kept safe by ARXUM’s Production Protocol. The technology that ARXUM has developed saves time and radically lowers manufacturing costs. New business opportunities arise, as everyone have access to the network and can exchange information and services. Manufacturers can even provide consumers with personalized products – at the cost of mass production.

According to an article by the Boston Consulting Group (BCG), companies will spend an incremental €250 billion on IoT in 2020 (over and above their normal technology spending). The blockchain technology used in ARXUM can become a major part of this. ARXUM has already established relations with businesses who are integrating the ARXUM Connection Box in their system. And investors have bought ARXUM tokens in an initial investor round.

The ARXUM ICO

Through the ICO, the public can join and support this paradigm shift in manufacturing. The ARXUM token, AX, are used across the ARXUM Production Network and allow investors to benefit from the use of IoT and blockchain within manufacturing. ARXUM has submitted a proposal to the financial authorities of Switzerland, FINMA, and is waiting for the final approval to conduct the ICO. There is a total of 125,000,000 AX token. 80 % of the token are for sale, 16 % are for the team and 4 % are for the Bounty Campaign. The funds will be used for Industry-specific adaptations to ARXUM’s Production Protocol and for the market penetration and worldwide roll-out.

Nebulas is Incentivizing Developers to Create Quality Decentralized Applications

Even though the introduction of blockchain with bitcoin in 2009 has managed to disrupt several existing industries unrelated to cryptocurrency such as logistics and international finance, current implementations of the technology suffer from a myriad of problems. Scalability, upgradability, and accessibility are all problems that current-day cryptocurrencies and decentralized platforms are still struggling to fully comprehend and work around. It is for that reason that new innovations continue to iterate and improve upon the concept of blockchains.

One such evolutionary project is Nebulas, spearheaded by the founder of cryptocurrency NEO, Hitters Xu. Described as “a next-generation public blockchain,” Nebulas aims to bring improvements to smart contracts, blockchain scaling and decentralized applications (DApps). The platform is a blockchain search engine that makes DApp discovery easier and more intuitive for the end user. Nebulas’ rethinking of the blockchain paradigm has even earned the title, ‘Google of Blockchain.’

According to the project’s white paper, the first feature of the platform is Nebulas Rank, which is perhaps the most crucial aspect of the blockchain search engine experience. In essence, it uses an algorithm to measure how valuable a DApp is, similar to what Google does for websites with its PageRank technology.

Using publicly available blockchain data, Nebulas Rank computationally considers the particular DApp’s liquidity, interaction and propagation of assets. By appropriately ranking applications with real world usage potential, Nebulas believes it can boost the growth of the ecosystem. In fact, the total number of DApps available on the platform already exceeds what can be found on the Ethereum blockchain by a fairly large number.

Another important feature is Nebulas Force, which is the platform’s approach to solving the fragmentation problem of blockchain upgrades that Bitcoin most notably suffers from. Instead of relying on a hard fork to make improvements to the underlying technology, Nebulas boasts the capability of self-evolution. Changes to the platform are first carried out on a test-chain for testing and experimentation and are propagated across the mainchain after a consensus process.

DApps built on the Nebulas platform use the platform’s native token NAS to facilitate transfers and blockchain entries, similar to Ethereum. With a continuously growing library of DApps, Nebulas recognized the need for a DApp storefront early on. After releasing the mainnet in March, the team’s attention quickly shifted to developing a mobile wallet and app store solution. Two months later, the official Nebulas mobile wallet NAS Nano received an update that brought a fully integrated DApp store within it.

The main focus of the Nebulas ecosystem remains to be decentralized applications, as is evident by the Developer Incentive Protocol. In a bid to improve the quality of DApps on its platform, Nebulas has committed to rewarding developers with incentives in the form of NAS tokens. The program includes weekly, monthly and referral rewards which will be given out on the basis of the ranking algorithm talked about earlier.

The first installment of the Incentive Program concluded on June 2, with a total of $1.4 million disbursed to app developers in the one month time frame. Of the 2765 Dapps submitted, Nebulas evaluated and awarded 600 applications. The monthly champion of the program for May 2018 was Cell Evolution, a full fledged decentralized strategy and sandbox game. Another prize winner was a NAS Tip Bot, a service that could be used to make micropayments on virtually any social media platform.

Eventually, Nebulas has stated that it will be expanding its incentive program to encourage even more developers to begin creating quality decentralized applications. The recent introduction of an in-app storefront is just the first step to achieve this.

Japanese I.T. Giant Fujitsu Unveils Blockchain Platform for Retailers

Japan’s I.T and computing equipment giant Fujitsu announced the launch of the cloud-based  Fujitsu Intelligent Society Solution Blockchain Asset Service on June 6, 2018.

Fujitsu’s Blockchain Push

Via an official announcement, the company revealed its plans for the use of blockchain technology in retail sectors – such as digital points, stamps, and coupons – aimed towards tourist sites, markets, and shopping centers.

Using the service, customers will be able to collect digital stamps by scanning QR codes in designated areas and redeem them for benefits and coupons in selected shopping or retail stores.

The collected information and usage data will be recorded on Fujitsu’s hybrid blockchain. Additionally, it will be linked with user information for use in related analysis.

Fujitsu aims to connect promotions and shopping events with its blockchain platform, in turn augmenting the customer footfall for partner brands.

The announcement stated:

“At the same time, they can also more effectively set strategies for regional revitalization, based on the activity patterns of users seen in the analysis results, and on such factors as the use of the coupons and other benefits.”

The service will debut at trade fair Interop Tokyo 2018, on June 13.

Retailers who adopt the platform will be able to implement the service to “connect” various events and promotions, and record the distribution of digital stamps or coupons. On the other hand, customers would use a smartphone-enabled API to connect to promotions of their choice.

Fujitsu added that the service is designed to ensure customers can safely and easily access the platform, regardless of their knowledge of blockchain systems.

Compiling User Data with Transactional Information

As stated in the announcement, retail customers will be able to track user behavior through the linked digital information. In contrast, traditional systems identify users based on sex and age, which does not provide enough data for companies to base strategic decisions on.

Fujitsu’s system would provide retail customers with an array of information such as user interests and shopping activities, thus providing them a useful tool for setting sales strategies.

Additionally, the platform makes it possible to “visualize the circulation of points and stamps and the usage status of coupons.”

Fujitsu no Stranger to Blockchain

Interestingly, the I.T. firm has implemented blockchain technology in various use-cases in the past. The firm developed a payments technology in November 2017 that connects different blockchains to enable exchanges and payments with various cryptocurrencies.

The development came at a time when the firm was working with Japan’s three ‘megabanks’ to develop a peer-to-peer money transfer system utilizing blockchain technology to that will facilitate money transfers between actual bank accounts and their retail customers.

Recently in March 2018, Fujitsu established a blockchain center in Belgium, to support research, development, and innovation in the “revolutionizing” blockchain industry.

Trading Giant Susquehanna to Help Clients Buy and Sell Cryptocurrencies

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Susquehanna International Group, one of the world’s largest investment firms, will begin offering cryptocurrency trading to its clients.

The company, which is based out of Bala Cynwyd, PA — a suburb of Philadelphia — is one of the highest-volume trading firms, and it has long dealt in stocks, options, ETFs, and other conventional securities.

However, Susquehanna has also quietly been facilitating over-the-counter (OTC) cryptocurrency trades for more than two years, and its bitcoin trading desk has now seats about a dozen people.

Now, the firm plans to begin offering cryptocurrency to a small group of its 500 clients with the goal of expanding this service in the future. The news was first reported by the New York Times.

“We believe that this technology and this asset class is going to change some facet of financial services, and we think it is going to exist forever,” said Bart Smith, head of Susquehanna’s digital asset group.

Smith told the publication that Susquehanna views bitcoin primarily as a store of value — for now — though it believes either it or another cryptocurrency could become a so-called native currency for the internet.

In addition to bitcoin futures, Susquehanna will help its clients buy and sell actual cryptocurrencies, including bitcoin, ether, and bitcoin cash. Since the company is registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) as a broker-dealer, it will be allowed to help its clients trade cryptocurrencies that the SEC classifies as securities.

Susquehanna’s decision to open cryptocurrency trading to clients is the latest evidence that large-scale investors and institutions are beginning to warm to this nascent asset class, albeit perhaps slower than many expected they would.

Breaking: Coinbase ‘On Track’ to Receive SEC Registration, List Blockchain Securities

coinbase gdax

Cryptocurrency industry giant Coinbase on Wednesday announced that it is “on track” to register with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) as a broker-dealer, a move which would allow it to list cryptoassets that the agency deems to be securities.

In a statement attributed to Coinbase President and COO Asiff Hirji, Coinbase revealed that it has acquired a broker-dealer license, an alternative trading system (ATS), and a registered investment advisor (RIA) license, and — pending regulatory approval — will begin operating as a broker-dealer under the oversight of the SEC and Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA).

SEC Chairman Jay Clayton has said that cryptocurrencies designed to replace sovereign fiat currencies — bitcoin, for instance — are not subject to securities laws, but there has been debate about whether other cryptocurrencies, such as those initially distributed through crowdsales, should be classified differently. Moreover, the agency has said that nearly every initial coin offering (ICO) token that it has encountered is a security under federal guidelines.

In previous statements, Hirji said that the four assets listed on the Coinbase platform — bitcoin, ether, bitcoin cash, and litecoin — were the only ones the company felt comfortable supporting, given the regulatory climate in the US. Operating as a broker-dealer would greatly expand the list of assets that the company could list.

Hirji wrote:

“There are now many types of blockchain-based digital assets, from cryptocurrencies to security tokens to collectibles. In the United States, some of these assets will be subject to SEC oversight. With this in mind, securing these licenses will bring us a step closer to our goal, which is to be the most trusted way for our customers to buy, sell, and use many different types of crypto assets.”

As part of securing these licenses, Coinbase acquired three companies holding various federal licenses: Keystone Capital Corp., Venovate Marketplace, Inc., and Digital Wealth LLC. Keystone and Venovate are each registered with the SEC and FINRA as broker-dealers, while Digital Wealth has an RIA license from the SEC. Venovate also has a license to operate as an ATS.

Huobi Unveils Plan to Launch Public Blockchain, Develop ‘Next Generation Financial Protocol’

Huobi

Major cryptocurrency exchange Huobi has unveiled plans to launch a public blockchain that it hopes will serve as the foundation for a “next generation financial protocol.”

Announced on Wednesday, Huobi Chain aims to fulfill the dream of the blockchain-based decentralized autonomous organization (DAO) by enabling the Singapore-based exchange operator to gradually migrate its operations to a decentralized platform and automate them using smart contracts.

Huobi Chain product director Gordon Chen told CCN that the initiative is an extension of Huobi’s experiment in community decision making. Consequently, governance is one of the first processes that the company intends to migrate onto its new blockchain.

“The future will need a new type of financial system,” he said, but “going forward, we’re going to do things gradually.”

Chen said that Huobi hopes to pursue community-driven governance, including decisions about the development of the blockchain itself. This will gradually replace the company’s current corporate governance structure “by necessity” as the company — formerly based in Beijing — expands its global reach.

Later on, Huobi hopes to build a decentralized cryptocurrency exchange (DEX) around its blockchain, which will enable users to trade cryptocurrencies without holding their coins in an exchange-controlled wallet, which presents an attractive attack vector for hackers.

At present, Huobi’s centralized trading platform ranks as the world’s third-largest exchange with a daily volume of approximately $1.1 billion.

The company will fund the initiative with an initial investment of $100 million worth of Huobi tokens (HT) as it seeks to attract technical talent to help develop the new platform.

As CCN reported, Huobi is not the first major cryptocurrency exchange to explore moving its operations onto a blockchain. Binance — the highest-volume exchange — announced in March that it was building a public blockchain to serve as the foundation for a DEX. About that same time, OKEx, the second-largest exchange, unveiled similar plans. All three of these exchanges have launched Ethereum-based utility tokens that will ultimately be transferred to their new blockchains to serve as their native assets.

Additionally, US-based exchange Coinbase recently acquired a DEX, though it has not announced plans to move any of the company’s core operations to a blockchain.

Digitrust Corporation Has Announced the Launch of Their Cryptocurrency, WillToken

WillToken is focused on secure transfer of assets from one person to their chosen beneficiaries. While cryptocurrency is still a new sector, the time will come when users will need to pass away their holdings, or have a backup plan in case of an unfortunate event.

Cases like this have already occured, with one of the most notable being Matthew Mellon. Mellon was already famous before investing into cryptocurrencies, so his fortune was only amplified through the rise of crypto.

WillToken could have saved $1 billion in XRP

Most significant was his Ripple holdings. Mellon was reported to have spent $2,000,000 investing into XRP, which became worth almost $1,000,000,000 at its peak. This overwhelming fortune allowed him to sustain a $7,000,000 a month lifestyle, before he passed away.

Unfortunately, his family has no way to access any of his crypto funds. Mellon left no passwords for his family, so effectively the cryptocurrencies that Mellon held were burned.

Other examples cite a private key being split between partners and one of the partners dying. This is common situation in multi-sig wallets, where multiple parties signatures are required to make a transaction.

WillToken Will Be More Relevant As More Investors Use Crypto

WillToken will alleviate tragic situations like these by making sure there will always be someone that has access to holdings.

Currently, 0.7% of investors pass away every year on average. This equates to 700,000 deaths in a global community of 100 million investors. As more investors become aware of cryptocurrency, the number of situations where crypto becomes stranded will only increase.

The utility token works in conjunction with crypto-will, an official legal document that investors fill out. The document expresses investors desire to pass along their holdings, and to whom it should be assigned. The document also includes trusted persons and ways for a beneficiary to be verified.

Once a situation is triggered that requires assets to be transferred, the whole process becomes automated. Transfers of assets from exchanges wallets are made without human intervention to the designated recipient.

The process is made possible through blockchain tech, applied AI, and is all encrypted with confidential information being kept in cold storage to be secure from malicious parties.

Crowdsale Details

DigiTrust is currently hosting a crowdsale for WillToken, with Stage 1 of the sale currently active until July 15th.  Tokens will be sold at $0.10 per token, with 250,000,000 tokens being sold. There is no minimum contribution, with participants being able to use Bitcoin or Ethereum to acquire tokens.

Bitcoin Core Dev: BTC Source Code Should Be Removed from GitHub [Eventually]

github

Bitcoin Core developer Wladimir van der Laan said that Microsoft’s acquisition of GitHub should spur discussion about moving the Bitcoin code repository off GitHub and to an independently-hosted platform.

Reports first emerged over the weekend that Microsoft had reached an acquisition agreement with GitHub, and the two parties confirmed the $7.5 billion deal on Monday.

The move proved to be controversial in tech circles, as Microsoft has a spotty track record on open-source initiatives. The company has been better about engaging in open-source development under current CEO Satya Nadella, but former CEO Steve Ballmer’s assertion that “Linux is cancer” still leaves a sour taste nearly two decades later.

The backlash was particularly pronounced in the cryptocurrency community. Though GitHub is a for-profit company, it offers a range of free services for open-source projects, and it hosts the source code for virtually every cryptocurrency protocol.

Many people argued that the acquisition would have little impact on cryptocurrency, with a few suggesting that Microsoft may add new features that make the user experience better for developers.

However, Wladimir van der Laan, the lead maintainer of the Bitcoin Core GitHub repository, stated on Twitter that the move is “the beginning of a long painful road” for the platform and that the Bitcoin project should move its source code elsewhere.

“To be clear: many bitcoin core contributors already preferred moving to independently hosted infrastructure in the long run. This may or may not speed it up.”

Of course, controversial announcements often lead to a backlash among users, only to have some of the loudest voices fail to live up to their claims to take action. For his part, however, van der Laan said that he canceled his paid GitHub subscription and has made his personal Bitcoin git repository available through a TorV3 hidden service.

The Blockchain Router: Architecture for a Decentralized Internet

The Blocknet unveils its “blockchain router,” a fundamental component for the inter-blockchain era and the future of decentralized internet services.

New York, 31 May – The Blocknet has made public a component with far-reaching implications for the blockchain industry: XRouter, an inter-blockchain SPV client (or “light wallet”) backend, enabling the verification of blockchain records from theoretically any blockchain without requiring users to download the blockchain in question. This empowers lightweight dapps to harness contracts and protocols from other blockchains, laying a foundation-stone for the decentralization of the API ecosystem.

As the inter-blockchain era emerges, dapps, smart contracts, and protocols will increasingly consume services on other blockchains, due to the overwhelming advantages of orchestrating services over hand-coding them. The Blocknet supports this development by enabling the technologies on any blockchain to become available via decentralized APIs, creating a paradigm shift from monolithic architecture to microservice architecture. XRouter plays a critical role in enabling the secure consumption of this new generation of digital services – that of enabling consumers to verify the truthfulness of the data provided to them independently of the claims of the service provider.

Verify records on any blockchain

With XRouter, it is now possible to verify blockchain records on theoretically any blockchain without downloading even a single chain. Blockchains tend to be large: Bitcoin’s, for example, is well over 100GB in size, and few users have the capacity to download and maintain a blockchain on their PC’s, let alone on mobile devices. However, Satoshi Nakomoto, in the  original Bitcoin whitepaper, describes “simplified payment verification,” or “SPV,” by which a dapp may ascertain the truth of a record on a blockchain using only the transaction of interest, a merkle branch, and the block headers (~1/500th of the size of a blockchain). The result is wallets that can be mobile-friendly, fast to set up, and vastly reduce the burden upon users of maintaining an entire blockchain.

Yet an SPV wallet on its own would not enable the inter-chain verification of blockchain records. What is required in addition is an inter-chain peer-to-peer network for nodes on different blockchains to communicate, and a community of users running nodes on very many blockchains in order to achieve workable liveness. The Blocknet provides both: XBridge (its inter-chain network overlay) and its Service Nodes are the required infrastructure to support SPV proofs for an arbitrary number of blockchains.

Build upon the API

XRouter is inter-chain infrastructure. Naturally, it is available via API, enabling developers to harness its power to build next-generation dapps. To give a typical example of its usefulness, a dapp for decentralized file storage would likely involve at least three services: payment in multiple coins, the authentication of its users without resorting to any central solution for managing personal information, and the storage of encrypted fragments of files across a peer-to-peer network. If this dapp were to be built the way mobile apps or websites are built today, development would essentially be a simple matter of coding the business logic to orchestrate pre-existing APIs for the above three services, making development fast and cheap. Yet, at present, dapps are coded from scratch, adding vastly to cost and time of development, and significantly increasing the risk of security issues. XRouter changes this game.

Over and above getting data from other blockchains, to decentralize a service requires consumers to verify the truthfulness of the data provided to them independently of the claims of the service provider. On a public peer-to-peer network, this is essential, since no peer may safely be assumed to act honestly. Such proofs preserve the “trustless” property of crypto, from which much of its disruptive power is derived: for example, if you can safely do business with a counterparty regardless of their intentions, then radical new business opportunities arise. Thus XRouter, together with the Blocknet’s core services, are infrastructure for a “token ecosystem” poised to revolutionize dapp development in the manner that the API ecosystem did for websites and apps.

Being decentralized, there are no servers to be trusted; instead it should be integrated into a dapp and invoked over localhost.

Developers wanted

XRouter and the rest of the Blocknet’s technology stack is in continuous development, and the project has a high demand for talented developers. Other methods of blockchain-free proof remain to be implemented, components are yet to mature and be abstracted optimally, several new blockchains’ APIs remain to be integrated too, and many novel features are in the pipeline. Developers are invited to contact the blocknet and to contribute to its open source repositories.

Find inter-chain services with “blockchain DNS”

XRouter enables a protocol analogous to DNS (the internet’s domain name service), the efficient routing of data between peers. In itself though, it functions rather like the layer-2 Border Gateway Protocol (BGP), upon which “blockchain DNS” may be built (at layer 4 in the TCP/IP paradigm). Just as BGP provides ISPs with an up-to-date list of peers to connect to, XRouter provides a list of currently connected blockchains – the protocol for which may usefully be named “Blocknet XRouter Protocol” (BXP) in future internet standards. Yet XRouter employs a decentralized design pattern, replacing a hub-and-spoke model with a peer-to-peer network.

XRouter is intended to open up a marketplace for registry services, that is, repositories of data about inter-chain services and the blockchains upon which they are built. As such, XRouter will make provision for the invoking of any number of registry services, which may compete on a cost basis and on the degree of truthfulness of the data they offer. Registry service design is documented in the Blocknet whitepaper, and in fact empowers not just registry services but potentially any blockchain service to scale its reach across blockchains. The result will be a new and decentralized API ecosystem with a “trustless” security model and the ability to intrinsically monetise APIs using the tokens native to any blockchain.