Bank of England opens potential blockchain payments method

The Bank of England (BOE) is looking at options for the basis of a new payment system that will deliver a ‘resilient, flexible and innovative sterling system.’ The current real-time gross settlement (RTGS) is at the heart of the UK’s payment infrastructure. It is where financial institutions hold their sterling bank accounts. On an average day, the system settles around £500 billion between banks. The BOE believe that a new RTGS is needed to respond to the changing structure of...

Lockheed Martin becomes first US defence contractor to incorporate blockchain

US defence contractor Lockheed Martin has contracted Guardtime Federal, making it the first American-based defence company to incorporate blockchain technology into its development processes. The two companies are looking to address the threat of manipulation to ‘networked and weapon system embedded cyber physical systems’. According to Lockheed Martin, cyber-focused threatst to the entire development and fielding lifecycle continue to evolve. The contractor hopes that blockchain will...

World Bank supporting Kenyan blockchain bonds trial

The World Bank will be exploring if blockchain technology can be used to help the Kenyan government raise money. In a recently published report the global financial institution lists the development objective of the projects: “…to strengthen the legal, regulatory and institutional environment for improved financial stability, access to and provision of, affordable and long term financing.” Among the key parts of the research project involves supporting market research relating...

UN launches request for information for Blockchain-based International Assistance

The United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) has launched a request for information (RFI) for blockchain-based international assistance. The RFI looks to formalize UNOPS’ outreach to commercial companies operating in the blockchain space. “We hope to create an open and fair channel to the wider market,” Special Advisor for UN Engagement and Blockchain Technology, UNOPS, Yoshiyuki Yamamoto said.   Yamamoto added that the UNOPS were looking for “commercial companies...

EU looks to blockchain to examine regulatory issues

In a draft communication from the European Commission, it is suggested that the EU is seeking to create a blockchain proof-of-concept focused on regulation. According to the published document: “The commission also launched an internal FinTech Task Force which involves all relevant services working on financial regulation, technology, data and competition to ensure that our assessment reflects the multi-disciplinary approach that FinTech developments ask for.” The pilot project...

Ubitquity launches real estate recordkeeping pilot in Brazil

Ubitquity, the Delaware-based company that utilises blockchain to securely record and track property deeds has announced a pilot scheme in Brazil. The partnership with Cartorio de Registro de Imoveis (Brazil’s real estate registry office) will look to handle the regions official land records. The company is hoping to greatly improve the accuracy, security and transparency of the recordkeeping and tracking processes. “This partnership will help to demonstrate to government...

Nevada bill proposes block on tax on blockchain transactions

A bill filed in the Nevada senate would mean that local authorities could not impose tax on blockchain use if passed. Bill 398 was introduced on 20 March by senator Ben Kieckhefer is concerned with creating a legal foundation for blockchain contracts and records. Importantly, under the proposals the use of blockchain technology or licensure would not be taxed by local government in Nevada. A similar bill was put forward in Arizona in February 2017, showing that there are increasing...

New partnership aims to make remote voting secure and more accessible through blockchain

Voatz and Clear Ballot Group have teamed up to introduce a solution that aims to allow secure and accessible remote voting in elections through blockchain technology.   Having worked together for more than a year, Voatz, a global mobile voting and campaigning platform, brings an open source blockchain platform designed for secure and high volume remote voting on smartphones and tablets, which was independently evaluated for security and has already been piloted successfully in...

Accenture’s new blockchain solution secures financial services, healthcare and government

Accenture has launched a patent-pending solution that allows easy integration of blockchain technology into industrial-grade security systems which support sectors including financial services, healthcare and government. The solution creates a developer-friendly interface between emerging blockchain platforms and widely used hardware security technology.   In order to develop the solution, the company partnered with Thales whose hardware is currently used by most major banks...

IBM survey finds governments around the world keen on implementing blockchain

Nine out of 10 government organisations plan to invest in blockchain technologies by 2018 for financial transaction management and asset management, according to a new study from IBM. Blockchain can help governments across the world overcome the problems ranging from budgetary pressures that arise from economic stagnation to aging populations, the tech giant notes in a blog post announcing the study. Yet many of these public sector authorities have constrained resources, including the...