FedEx Blockchain Strategist Sees Teamwork as Key to Developing Blockchain Business Models

A senior executive from American delivery services company FedEx is unconvinced about the benefits of blockchain technology in its present form, Memphis-based local news outlet Commercial Appeal reported on May 20. In a new interview, the firm’s dedicated blockchain strategist, Dale Chrystie, said FedEx remains pragmatic about blockchain despite its previous efforts to integrate it. As it stands, conventional processes covering the shipping database aspect of its operations are superior, at least in part due to the nascent stage of blockchain. “To kind of burst the bubble, it’s not our…

Bitcoin and Blockchain: The Tangled History of Two Tech Buzzwords

“I’m interested in blockchain, not bitcoin.” Admit it, you’ve heard this hundreds, if not thousands, of times. (You might have even said it yourself.) And sure, people know what you’re saying, you’re talking about the “technology underlying bitcoin” and you sound smart enough. Once it became known – or at least presumed – that you could apply cryptography in finance, in ways similar to how it’s used in bitcoin, everyone started making sure that statement fell from their lips. And that refrain – kicked off by bitcoin itself – remains…

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…

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.…

Amazon Patent Casts Light on Plans to Create Proof-of-Work Blockchain Analog

Retail behemoth Amazon has received a patent for generating Merkle trees as a solution to the proof-of-work (PoW) algorithm, a document confirmed on May 14. Amazon, which has taken an increasing interest in blockchain technology in recent times, now appears to be targeting development of a specific variation of the instrument. Specifically, the patent targets Merkle trees — a data verification tool — to constitute the work required in a PoW setup. PoW is the algorithm used in bitcoin (BTC) and some other major cryptocurrencies such as litecoin (LTC), dogecoin…

Cornell Uni’s Emin Gun Sirer Debuts Ava Blockchain Following $6 Million Investment

Emin Gun Sirer, a professor at Cornell University and a major global blockchain expert, will launch his own cryptocurrency and blockchain network, Bloomberg reported on May 16. Sirer, the creator of the first crypto based on proof-of-work (PoW) — Karma System — is now planning to launch a blockchain network that he touts as running as many transactions per second as payment giant Visa. Having raised $6 million from major investors such as Andreessen Horowitz, Polychain and MetaStable in February, Sirer’s Ava Labs has reportedly launched a private test version…

ABB Launches Blockchain Pilot for Solar Energy Sector

International electrical engineering company ABB has rolled out a blockchain pilot to explore how the technology could promote the role of solar energy in peer-to-peer (p2p) energy trading, technology-focused media outlet PV Tech reported on May 16. To implement the project, ABB collaborated with Italian energy aggregator Evolvere to deploy a blockchain it jointly developed with blockchain-based platform Prosume. The pilot will purportedly enable transparent and secure p2p energy transactions, as well research blockchain’s role in the smart grids market. ABB told PV Tech that the project’s objective is to…

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…