Weekly NFT roundup April 7-13: Christie’s, Triller, and more

NFTs made headlines again this week as the market continues to grow rapidly. Beyond this week, future developments may include Playboy which will soon begin auctioning NFTs on Nifty, luxury fashion brands that are exploring ways to implement 3D clothing in their offerings, and even Tom Brady who is set to launch his very own NFT marketplace.

CryptoPunk NFT artwork expected to sell for millions at upcoming Christie’s auction

A selection of NFTs from the iconic...

MorganFranklin announces partnership with blockchain cybersecurity firm 1Kosmos

Global financial advisory firm MorganFranklin is looking to expand its cybersecurity services through an alliance with 1Kosmos a provider of security technology which leverages blockchain and biometrics authentication.

1Kosmos’ BlockID platform provides digital identity proofing with advanced biometrics and passwordless authentication through a secured private blockchain. The authentication process involves a liveness test and the use of verifiable credentials in digital format....

Russia opens up blockchain database with launch of English language version

The Department of Information Technologies of Moscow has made an English language version of Russia’s blockchain knowledge base available on the ICT.Moscow portal.

Aimed at analysts, smart city experts, and developers of blockchain projects, the database currently presents 52 use cases of blockchain in various industries with the fintech and public sector categories featuring the largest number of applications – 16 and 13 respectively.

New use cases will be added...

China’s 14th five-year plan: Blockchain and digital currency part of ‘new infrastructure’ investments

China has referenced blockchain and digital currency technologies in its latest five-year plan.

The 14th iteration of the five-year plan, which is a guiding document for the country’s future social development and economic growth from 2021 to 2025, places significant emphasis on ‘new infrastructure.’

In a chapter called ‘accelerating digitalisation development and building a digital China,’ the government pledged to ‘strengthen the innovative applications of...

William Lovell, Bank of England: Why blockchain is maturing – but healthy scepticism remains

As blockchain technologies and the thinking around them have matured, the role of each of its stakeholders tends to mature with it. For the central bank, the inherent understanding of risk with blockchain has always been there. But this does not mean innovation and progress cannot march forwards.

William Lovell is head of future technology at the Bank of England. Naturally, this remit means blockchain is not the only game in town, but its intrinsic link to finance makes it a...

Chainalysis valued at more than $2 billion after series D funding and Bluestone Analytics partnership

Chainalysis continues to cement itself in the top realm of global blockchain analysis providers after a fourth round of funding led by Paradigm secured $100 million (£72m).

The company, now valued at over $2 billion (£1.45bn), also received increased investments from previous investors Ribbit and Addition, as well as Marc Benioff’s investment fund, TIME Ventures.

Chainalysis is used by government agencies to investigate crypto-based crime and leading digital...

Ethereum 2.0: What it is, why it is here, and what is on the horizon

Feature Ethereum successfully launched its beacon chain at the end of 2020, the first step in the transition from its current system to the highly anticipated Ethereum 2.0. (ETH2). Despite this initial progress, the remaining upgrades required to realise ETH2 are far more complex, with seemingly everyone in the blockchain sphere having a different opinion on whether the benefits outweigh the costs. Predictions as to what will happen to ETH2 post-launch are even less clear. But to attempt to...

Fergal Downey, Rakuten: On how blockchain is being used for retail, Covid compliance, and more

Ahead of his talk at Blockchain Expo on March 17, The Block speaks with Fergal Downey regarding the inner workings of his engineering team, his thoughts on the challenges facing enterprise organisations, and the potential future directions of the blockchain industry.

Fergal Downey is vice president (VP) of engineering at Rakuten Blockchain Lab in Belfast, the blockchain-based products and solutions team for Japanese eCommerce giant, Rakuten. Prior to joining in 2016, he led an...

Concordium raises $15m in private sale and completes MVP testnet

Concordium, a provider of enterprise-oriented public and permissionless blockchain offerings, has raised $15 million (£10.7m) in a private sale of tokens.

The Switzerland-based company had announced a joint venture cooperation with Geely, the owner of Volvo, last month to provide Chinese customers with blockchain technology.

As this publication reported at the time, the joint venture 'will use Concordium's blockchain technology to help customers build businesses focused...

Aries becomes next Hyperledger project graduating to active status

The Hyperledger Technical Steering Committee (TSC) has approved Hyperledger Aries as the latest of Hyperledger’s projects to graduate from incubation to active status.

Hyperledger Aries provides tool kits designed to build interopable and verifiable credentials for secure communication without a central authority. The Aries project grew out of the need for protocols and open source tools to enable verifiable credentials, such as those supported by Hyperledger...