China Construction Bank’s blockchain bond efforts take a new direction

China Construction Bank, the world’s second-largest bank by assets, is cooperating with Malaysian and Singaporean partners to test blockchain technology for use in the bond market. As previously reported, China Construction Bank’s branch in Labuan, Malaysia, had initially pursued a partnership with a Labuan-based fintech firm to issue what was hailed as prospectively the first-ever blockchain-based digital security to be issued by a Chinese financial institution.  CCB Labuan’s plan had been to use the Ethereum blockchain to issue bonds and raise up to $3 billion in total, starting with a tranche of…

UN blockchain tool aims to improve land registry in Afghanistan’s cities

The United Nations has released a blockchain-powered solution to help the Afghan government manage property ownership issues in the country’s urban areas. According to a Dec. 2 announcement, the U.N. Human Settlements Programme, or U.N.-Habitat, will present its new digital land registry solution to the Ministry of Urban Development and Land in Afghanistan in December 2020. The U.N. first launched its blockchain project for sustainable urban development in Afghanistan in 2019.  Now, with its new blockchain-enabled digital land registry tool, the U.N. wants to help Afghanistan address major challenges in…

Polkadot is a ‘bet against blockchain maximalism’

Polkadot doesn’t have to be an “Ethereum killer” to succeed, according to protocol founder Gavin Wood.  In a “fireside chat” with podcaster Laura Shin during the Polkadot Decoded business summit on Thursday, Wood was asked whether his protocol could exist alongside Ethereum given its lofty development goals and growing success in bringing on new developers. Wood acknowledged that the blockchain ecosystem is big enough for both protocols, but said Polkadot is essentially a “bet against blockchain maximalism.” He said the narrative surrounding Ethereum today is that “there only needs to…

Russia’s Alfa-Bank offers blockchain platform for freelancers

Alfa-Bank, one of the largest private commercial banks in Russia, is exploring blockchain technology in its services for freelancers. According to a Dec. 1 announcement, Alfa-Bank will use blockchain-based applications to automate services for freelancers and self-employed workers. Based on Waves Enterprise’s blockchain platform, Alfa-Bank’s new service covers the entire process of registration and remuneration for self-employed individuals, including payments settlement, income registration and tax payments. Denis Dodon, director of Alfa-Bank’s research and development center, told Cointelegraph that the new blockchain-based service enables freelancers to get direct remuneration via any…

A missing catalyst of blockchain adoption

When most people imagine the problems solved and industries disrupted by blockchain technology, the typical use cases come to mind: global currency, store of value and even a way to track goods on an immutable ledger. A good starting point in understanding what drives the adoption of new technology is to take a deeper look at human psychology and understand what motivates the average person to participate in the cryptocurrency space. As of now, the lion’s share of users who participate in the space do so in the pursuit of…

Dapper Labs’ Flow blockchain takes major step towards mainnet

In a move that may signal that a mainnet launch is just around the corner, Flow — the blockchain from Cryptokitties and NBA Topshot developers Dapper Labs — has launched the Flow Port: a tool for token holders to manage, stake, and delegate their Flow cryptoassets.  The announcement focused heavily on how users can stake their FLOW tokens through custody providers such as Kraken and Coinlist, as well as delegate their tokens to currently-existing node operators. Those who wish to operate their own node might face a lengthy reviewal process,…

Polish city becomes first to adopt Ethereum blockchain for emergency services

Olsztyn, Poland is reportedly the first city in the world to leverage Ethereum’s blockchain to aid the provision of emergency services, offering yet another tangible use case for distributed ledger technology.  Olsztyn has completed a successful trial run of SmartKey, a bridging technology that connects blockchain with physical assets, to aid in police, fire and ambulance services. SmartKey will reportedly enable rescue teams to perform their jobs more efficiently by connecting a smart contract to Teltonika smart devices that are used by local rescue teams. This connection enables emergency crews…

IOTA teams up with Austrian uni for Internet of Things and blockchain research lab

The IOTA Foundation, the non-profit organization behind IOTA, IOTA Tangle and MIOTA, announced they will be joining Austria’s newest Christian Doppler Laboratory, or CDL, as an industrial partner. The first of its kind, the laboratory is housed at the Vienna University of Technology and named the CDL Blockchain Technologies for the Internet of Things, or CDL-BOT. The laboratory was officially opened in a digital ceremony on Nov. 26 by Austrian Federal Minister for Digital & Economic Affairs Margarethe Schramböck. It will focus on research and development in public/private partnerships between institutions…

Bitcoin and blockchain topics to discuss with the crypto curious this Thanksgiving

With Bitcoin’s (BTC) recent price movements drawing fresh attention to the blockchain industry, conversations centered around cryptocurrency have once again begun to see an uptick. Google Trends data shows that searches for the term “Bitcoin” have increased to yearly highs following the asset’s rally above $19,000.  Given the current circumstances, discussion centered around Bitcoin, general questions about blockchain and cryptocurrencies may come up at the Thanksgiving table. Yet while the crypto community has a lot to be thankful for this year, newcomers and the crypto curious may want to know more…

China’s national blockchain project adds Polkadot support

Chinese government-backed blockchain initiative, the Blockchain Service Network, or BSN, is introducing support for another batch of major blockchain protocols. On Nov. 26, it announced that it will integrate Polkadot, Oasis and Bityaun into its ecosystem on Nov. 30. Polkadot’s blockchain protocol is designed to connect multiple specialized blockchains into one unified network. Polkadot also enables processing of numerous transactions on several chains in parallel, bringing another level to its network capacity. Oasis specializes in private and scalable decentralized finance tools, while Bityuan is a blockchain solutions provider to Chinese companies.…