Blockchain Genomics Firm, Global Pharma Giant Merck Sign Anonymized Data Sharing Agreement

As previously reported, Nebula is a blockchain-powered platform for genome-sequencing data, co-founded in 2017 by renowned geneticist Professor George Church and his Harvard colleagues Dennis Grishin and Kamal Obbad.The platform leverages blockchain technology in a bid to incentivize genomic data generation and sharing, and to lower the costs of genome-sequencing while preserving privacy and individuals’ control over their unique and sensitive data.In its collaboration with EDM Serono, Nebula will provide the firm with access to its network of anonymized genomic data in order to support the research and development of new medicines.In January of this year, Merck was  awarded  a  patent in the United States earlier this year for a system that uses a combination of artificial intelligence and blockchain tech to establish the authenticity of unique physical objects.

Brazil: R3 Develops Blockchain Platform With Major Banks and Stock Exchange

The R3 Consortium — which is composed of large banks and technology companies — announced during the CIAB Febraban event in São Paulo that it is currently collaborating with Brazilian banks.During the event, R3 executives claimed that the consortium partnered with Itau and Bradesco banks to build a blockchain-enabled platform for foreign trade and insurance.The consortium — which recently opened an office in the country — further noted that the Brazilian stock exchange was also using its Corda platform for digital identification.The executive commented on the current developments, stating that before further expansion, blockchain technology needs to mature and become secure enough for large corporations.Earlier this week, CIP, a facilitator of Brazilian banking and financial infrastructure, officially launched its blockchain ID platform via a partnership with IBM using the Hyperledger Fabric.

Cypherpunk Adam Back Speaks of Blockchain Benefits at G20 Meeting of Finance Ministers

Adam Back, who invented the hashcash proof-of-work system and was one of the first people to work on bitcoin (BTC), spoke about the positive uses of blockchain at G20. Sitting next to the governor of the Dutch central bank, Back said he believed blockchain was another move to open networking — and said financial institutions stand to benefit from the technology because it would mean international transfers no longer need to go through intermediary banks with questionable creditworthiness.After the G20 meeting, a joint communiqué co-signed by leaders urged the Financial Stability Board and global standard-setting bodies to monitor the risks surrounding crypto assets — warning that while they could pose benefits to the economy, money laundering and terrorism financing are potential by products.

Former Mt. Gox CEO Mark Karpeles to Serve as CTO of New Japanese Blockchain Venture

Speaking at the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Japan earlier today, Karpeles reportedly declared his intention to make the country a global leader in blockchain technology by undertaking his new role as CTO of the new Tokyo-based firm, Tristan Technologies Co.Tristan Technologies reportedly plans to design a new, secure blockchain-powered operating system that would be significantly faster than other systems currently in use. According to The Mainchi’s report, Karpeles has pitched his new venture with Tristan as starting from zero, and has affirmed his belief in blockchain’s potential to innovate cashless payments, cloud solutions and establish the new field of smart contracts. However, when asked whether he himself held any cryptocurrencies, he reportedly said no, claiming they carry high risks.

Russia: Raiffeisen Bank Introduces Blockchain Platform for Corporate Settlements

Raiffeisenbank, a Russian subsidiary of Austria’s Raiffeisen Bank International (RBI), has developed a corporate blockchain platform, the bank announced in a press release on May 31.Targeting holding firms, the new blockchain platform claims to automate settlements by corporate clients and enable a trusted network for sharing data between a group of companies, the press release notes. Specifically, the product reportedly automates the process of supply settlements between buyers and suppliers, as well as providing tools for financial management.Evgeniy Kirillov, investment manager at Askona Life Group, claimed that Raiffeisenbank’s blockchain product allowed the company to reduce labor costs by more than 40%, as well as to reduce human error risks to zero.

Raiffeisenbank’s Austrian parent company RBI had also recently announced a blockchain trade finance pilot based on blockchain consortium  R3’s  Corda  enterprise blockchain platform Marco Polo. 

Dutch Bank ABN AMRO Launches Blockchain Inventory Tracking Platform ‘Forcefield’

Dutch bank ABN AMRO announced that it is launching a blockchain inventory tracking platform dubbed Forcefield in a press. Per the announcement, the platform is an Internet of Things solution that allows the monitoring of physical trade inventories with sensors and near-field communication chips.The bank claims that the system can lead to more secure physical handling processes and a reduction of costs in the management of commodities that are used as collateral for loans.Lastly, the announcement notes that — besides ABN AMRO — Accenture, Anglo American, CMST International, Hartree Partners, ING Bank, Macquarie, Mercuria and OCBC Bank have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to launch Forcefield.

Sports Blockchain Venture Chiliz Announces Strategic Partnership With Binance Chain

Sports blockchain venture Chiliz has announced a strategic partnership with Binance Chain, the mainnet of major cryptocurrency exchange Binance. As previously reported, Chiliz ($CHZ) is a sports industry-oriented digital currency that powers the tokenized fan engagement platform and blockchain-powered mobile app, Socios.com.Binance Chain integration will enable Chiliz to deepen blockchain implementation in their consumer-oriented product, and to offer services such as “instant payments, prepaid gift cards and micro-transactions for digital services.” Chiliz — which reportedly raised over $66 million through private placement from investors in 2018 — will reportedly release further news in coming weeks, in particular concerning the partial migration of ERC20 tokens to BEP2 — the technical standard for the Binance Chain mainnet.The Binance Chain mainnet was launched in April of this year, with the intent to build a basis for issuing new cryptocurrencies and initial coin offering tokens.

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

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 technology sees unique information about every product stored on a shared ledger. Customers are then able to use a brand’s official app to obtain a certificate offering details about its provenance.The team behind Aura hope it will eventually be used by rival luxury brands too, enabling them to offer a tailor-made service or strengthen customer loyalty. High-end brands are increasingly turning to blockchain to confirm the provenance of their products.

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. 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.“Blockchain has the potential to streamline processes for raising capital and trading securities, improve operational efficiencies, and enhance regulatory oversight,” Commonwealth Bank’s head of experimentation & commercialisation, Sophie Gilder, added.

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.A challenger candidate who has recently revealed he crossed the Democratic National Committee’s threshold of 65,000 donors to participate in the first candidate debates, Yang is also the founder of Venture For America (VFA) — a non-profit accelerator for start-ups for emerging cities.In April, he published a national framework for digital assets regulation as part of his presidential campaign, and has advocated for more clarity in regard to the overlapping jurisdictions of federal regulatory agencies.

Yang’s campaign has also accepted bitcoin (BTC), ether (ETH) and other cryptocurrency donations as of July 2018.