Korean Government-Backed Researchers File for Blockchain Patent


A South Korean government-funded organization has submitted a blockchain-related patent application to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), public documents show.

The application, which was submitted by the Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute (ETRI) on January 10 of this year, details a blockchain-powered system for managing data that belongs to public organizations.

More specifically, the system, fueled by a number of servers, would record the financial transaction history of a public organization on a blockchain. To boost the system's reliability, a third-party server is also introduced to the structure as it does «a mathematical operation.»

At the heart of the concept is an effort to boost transparency around information tied to public organizations.

As the application explains:

«An income history or an expenditures history of the public organizations that enforce the national budget and non-profit organizations that raise donations needs to be transparently managed. However, even though there are many possibilities that the server may be attacked or manipulated/tampered internally, it is difficult for ordinary citizens or donors to know the income history and the expenditures history of public organizations.»

Alongside the U.S. patent, ETRI submitted a similar application to the Korean Intellectual Property Office in January 2017.

The application is a notable example of a government-funded organization moving to obtain patent rights around an application of blockchain.

ETRI, according to its official site, was founded in 1976 and is one of the most elite research organizations in the field of telecommunication in South Korea. It's also an active patent-seeker, its published data shows, with more than 10,000 patent applications submitted thus far.

Cloud Provider Xunlei Launches Blockchain File System


Chinese technology company Xunlei Limited, known to some as the BitTorrent of China, announced Friday that it has launched a new distributed file system aimed at supporting blockchain platforms.

The ThunderChain File System (TCFS), as well as three ThunderChain Request for Comments (TRC) standards, will help support blockchain development, the company said in statements. The new file system, in particular, aims to combine features of existing platforms like IPFS and filecoin, while adding new security and flexibility tools.

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Blockchain for IoT: A Big Idea Meets Hard Design Questions


One of the most ambitious ideas in blockchain is that the technology could enable not just people and businesses to transact with each other seamlessly, but also machines.

If this scenario, first articulated a few years ago, comes to pass, devices ranging from refrigerators to automobiles would not only collect and share data as part of the emerging internet of things (IoT), they would also be endowed with cryptocurrency wallets and unique, blockchain-based identities.

The business possibilities from this physical internet of value are vast, potentially expanding the transactional economy in once-unimaginable ways. Self-driving cars might pay each other to cut ahead, for instance; a fridge equipped with sensors would know when it's running low on milk and zap the grocer some crypto to deliver a fresh carton.

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Spain's Lawmakers Push for Blockchain Use in Governance


Spain's ruling party believes the government should utilize blockchain to operate the country's public administration more efficiently.

Last week, 133 deputies from the Popular Party submitted a blockchain-related proposal to the Congress of Deputies, the lower chamber of the Spanish Parliament. This proposal recommends that the government introduce blockchain «with the aim of improving internal processes and [providing] traceability, robustness and transparency in decision making,» according to public documents.

The document continued:

«The introduction of blockchain — in administrative concessions, contracting or internal processes — will encourage greater control, traceability and transparency in the processes. In addition, the use of this technology can also bring extra revenue to the Administration through the promotion of new models of exchange of rights in sectors such as logistics, tourism or infrastructure. „

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Among Blockchain-Friendly Jurisdictions, Malta Stands Out


Marlene Ronstedt is a writer and journalist whose work has appeared in German and English publications including WIRED Germany. Currently, she is working for Neufund as a blockchain reporter.

André Eggert is a partner at the law firm of LACORE LLP and the legal architect of Neufund.org, a platform for primary offerings of tokenized equity.

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Among the handful of blockchain-friendly jurisdictions around the globe, Malta stands out with perhaps the most forward-thinking regulatory agenda.

In a testament to its success, the European island state has attracted a couple dozen blockchain businesses, such as the crypto exchange Binance and our company, the equity fundraising platform Neufund. A recent study from Morgan Stanley shows that Malta has established itself as the No. 1 spot for crypto trading.

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Big Insurers Are Uniting Behind R3's Blockchain Tech


R3 has scored another win in the insurance sector, giving the startup a wide lead over other distributed ledger technology (DLT) providers in the sector.

Revealed exclusively to CoinDesk, the RiskBlock Alliance, whose members include such insurance heavyweights as Chubb, Marsh and Liberty Mutual, has decided to build its first set of use cases using R3's Corda platform.

The news comes soon after B3i, the European reinsurance consortium, decided to switch from Hyperledger Fabric to Corda. With the addition of RiskBlock, R3 now counts all the major insurance blockchain consortia as Corda users, including the Insurwave marine insurance platform created by EY and Maersk as well as regional initiatives in India and Italy.

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Crypto Valley Declares Blockchain Voting Trial a 'Success'


Zug, a city in Switzerland known as the «Crypto Valley,» has successfully completed its first test of a local blockchain-based voting system.

As CoinDesk reported on June 11, the Swiss city launched an e-voting pilot platform built on blockchain technology as part of the city's efforts to embrace the technology. The voting process took place between June 25 and July 1, and stored both polling information and residents' IDs on the system.

SWI swissinfo.ch, a news outlet owned by the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation, reported on Monday that the city's head of communications, Dieter Müller, claimed that «the premiere was a success.»

Following the positive results, Müller said that «technical details» of the voting process will be evaluated over the coming months.

According to a press release from the city government on June 25, the goal of building this blockchain-based platform was to make the voting process «safer and less susceptible to unnoticed manipulation.»

The e-voting system was developed by Luxoft, a software company based in Zug, in partnership with the city and the department of computer science at the Lucerne University of Applied Sciences.

At the time, Vasily Suvorov, Luxoft's chief technology officer, said:

«There are concerns about electronic voting because voting is a fundamental mechanism for direct voting… That's why we believe that this technology should not belong to a single company. We will build the e-voting platform 'Open Source' so that people can understand what the technology is and how it works. We want to encourage more people to develop blockchain-based applications for governments worldwide.»

Delays Be Damned: Tezos Blockchain Tech Enters Beta Testing


After months of painful wrangling, the Tezos network is up and running – more or less.

The Tezos Foundation announced on Saturday that the blockchain's «betanet is live.» As the group explained prior to the launch, this means that a fully functional version of the network is available, but still «experimental» in nature, with downtime and even emergency hard forks of the network possible.

The foundation's plan is for transactions that occur on the betanet to remain valid on the mainnet – the final version of the network, expected in Q3 – but it cautioned that large or important transactions should still wait until the network is more reliable.

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EOS' Blockchain Arbitrator Orders Freeze of 27 Accounts


EOS, the blockchain network that has been live for just over a week, is raising eyebrows for its unconventional approach to governance – again.

In an «Emergency Measure of Protection Order» dated June 22, the EOS Core Arbitration Forum (ECAF) – a body set up to resolve disputes in the community – directed the block producers that maintain the EOS ledger to not process transactions from 27 different wallet addresses.

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