HS2 implements blockchain technology into its supply chain

High Speed Train

HS2, the controversial high speed railway being developed from London to Manchester, has begun to implement blockchain in parts of its procurement pipeline.

Major construction companies Costain, Skanska and Strabag took part in the trial, with oversight being provided by professional services firm Deloitte.

Deloitte’s blockchain lead, Alexander Marx, spoke at New Civil Engineer’s TechFest on December 2 about the benefits this will bring.

Explaining the...

Bitcoin processes $187bn more in transactions per quarter than PayPal

Canary Wharf, London

The Bitcoin (BTC) network is now processing more volume in terms of transactions than payments platform PayPal, according to blockchain analysis firm Blockdata.

Looking at average transaction volumes, Blockdata says that the Bitcoin network outshone PayPal by $187 billion (£140.4bn) per quarter this year. An impressive overtake for a payments system twelve years younger than PayPal.

Blockdata reported that: “The Bitcoin network processed an estimated average of $489...

Virtual real estate sells for record $2.4m in Decentraland metaverse

Metaverse

A piece of virtual real estate from the online world Decentraland has sold for $2.4 million (£1.8m) worth of cryptocurrency.

That’s right. For the sceptics still denouncing the perceived stupidity of NFTs, the emergence of the metaverse as a world of virtual ownership will have such individuals pulling their hair out.

Decentraland is an online virtual world where players can purchase land, explore, create, sell assets, and interact with others.

This sale of...

Michael Jackson, Concordium: Bringing blockchain to traditional finance

Michael Jackson

“We’re trying to shoehorn permissionless technology into extremely permissioned environments,” reveals Michael Jackson, advisor to Concordium and former COO of Skype.

Jackson’s take is a breath of fresh air in a blockchain industry that has become bogged down in use cases that are struggling to find their feet. For years, the ideas of supply chain ledger technologies and pharmaceutical blockchains have sat stagnant in the water waiting to be realised.

As the...

Reddit co-founder sets up $100m investment initiative with Solana

Social Media

Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian’s venture firm has teamed up with the Solana blockchain’s venture arm for a $100 million (£74m) investment initiative into decentralised social projects.

Seven Seven Six, Ohanian’s firm, will pay for half of the initiative with Solana coughing up the remaining $50 million.

Ohanian gave his thoughts on Solana at a conference in Lisbon on November 9: "With a high-performance blockchain like Solana, there is an unprecedented...

Epic Games is “open” to blockchain games according to CEO

Epic Games' Fortnite

Video game publisher Epic Games has said it is “open” to games that feature blockchain technology or support cryptocurrency payments.

The company’s position follows Steam, its main competitor, announcing it would not be allowing games that use cryptocurrency or NFTs on its platform.

Whilst Epic’s CEO Tim Sweeney has said the company will not be supporting or publishing NFT-based games, it has differentiated itself from Steam in showing support for...

French central bank trials CBDC debt market system

Paris, France

The French central bank has completed a pilot of a blockchain-based CBDC designed for the country’s debt market.

The trial was led by Belgian financial services firm Euroclear using a system developed by US tech giant IBM.

After 10 months of testing and participation from more than 500 institutions in France the trial of a CBDC for government bond deals is now over.

BNP Paribas, Crédit Agricole CIB, HSBC and Société Générale were amongst some of the...

The Sims creator’s new game to harness blockchain and NFTs

Video Gaming

Video game designer Will Wright, creator of The Sims and Spore, is working on a new game that will incorporate AI, blockchain, and non-fungible tokens (NFTs).

The new game, Proxi, is aimed at self-discovery. It will allow users to create and visualise memories within snow globes which collectively form a conceptual map of the player’s mind.

Wright said he believes that people are their memories and that tackling that in a game is a somewhat frightening...

Fluency valued at £17m with CBDC interoperability solution

Bank

Fluency, a CBDC blockchain enterprise platform, has raised £940,000 in seed funding to give it a £17 million valuation.

The company’s Aureum solution is being created to help build and interconnect national CBDC networks with cash retail banking, supporting the transition from cash to a CBDC.

Its smart contract platform enables issuance, distribution and exchange of multiple CBDCs between central banks, commercial banks, merchants, and consumers.

Having...

Mastercard buys blockchain analytics start-up CipherTrace

Mastercard - blockchain

Mastercard has entered into an agreement to purchase blockchain analytics start-up CipherTrace for an undisclosed amount.

The deal marks the latest sign that major corporates are warming towards cryptocurrencies, following similar trends amongst companies like Amazon and PayPal.

Based in California, CipherTrace develops tools and solutions to help government agencies and businesses detect and stamp out illicit digital currency transactions.

The company sits...