JD.com to open blockchain research lab

Chinese e-retailer JD.com will be setting up a blockchain research lab in cooperation with the Ying Wu College of Computing at the New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) and the Institute of Software at the Chinese Academy of Sciences (ISCAS).

In a press release, the NJIT said the laboratory “will focus on solving efficiency and stability challenges that are the most significant bottlenecks restricting the wider application of blockchain, and explore new applications of the technology.”

Leading the joint effort will be Jian Pei, president of JD Big Data and Smart Supply Chain, Qiang Tang, assistant professor of Ying Wu College of Computing, and Zhenfeng Zhang, ISCAS vice-chief engineer.

Pei said, “With more than 300 million customers, JD.com recognizes the pivotal role being played by blockchain in improving transparency in the supply chain and delivering greater peace of mind to Chinese consumers about product quality and safety.”

NJIT President Joel Bloom said, “NJIT is delighted to partner with one the leading ecommerce companies in the world and one of China’s premier research labs to work on cutting edge-blockchain and cybersecurity technologies.”

ISCAS Deputy Director Zhong Hua said, “Through this partnership we will bring about blockchain innovation and promote industrial applications of blockchain technology.”

JD.com began using blockchain in its operations, in a partnership with global meat merchant Interagri, to better track its meat supply. The problem of counterfeit and unsafe meat has been an issue particularly in China. As part of its advocacy for safe food purchases, the ecommerce giant has collaborated with Walmart, IBM, and Tsinghua University in launching the Blockchain Food Security Alliance.

It has also joined forces with Xingye Bank and Huatai Securities, in launching its asset-backed securities powered by blockchain, and has partnered with IBM, Microsoft, and Oracle, among other firms, in launching a Blockchain as a Service (BaaS) platform.

Since August, JD.com customers have been able to build, host, and use their blockchain apps on the JD Blockchain Open Platform.

Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (segwit) Chain are Referred to as BTC coins. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is today the only Bitcoin implementation that follows Satoshi Nakamoto’s original whitepaper for Peer to Peer Electronic Cash. Bitcoin BCH is the only major public blockchain that maintains the original vision for Bitcoin as fast, frictionless, electronic cash.

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Canada Cannabis trade to be tracked by blockchain

With the recent legalization of recreational cannabis in Canada, the tracking of the industry through blockchain technology comes at just the right time.

Toronto-listed DMG Blockchain Solutions announced that it was in the process of creating a supply chain management platform specifically for the trade of cannabis, with deployment to be limited to Canada prior to global expansion.

DMG CEO Dan Reitzik said, “We want to be the first to offer an enterprise grade solution in partnership with leading technology providers and cannabis producers, processors and distributors. The first use of blockchain was Bitcoin, but the perfect use is supply chain management for controlled products such as cannabis.”

He said Canada’s push to be the global supplier of cannabis would be aided with the company’s blockchain platform, “by way of product traceability for rapid recalls, ensuring a legal source of product, enhancing product safety, as well as facilitating and automating legal and taxation compliance.”

Among the components of DMG’s supply chain management are the use of smart contracts, and mechanisms for automatic product recall when needed.

Medicinal cannabis has been available to different degrees among the country’s provinces, since 2001. Recreational use was finally implemented this week.

The legal pot industry shares a similarity with the cryptocurrency industry, in that traditional banks have been reluctant to deal with businesses involved with such products. With the placing of transactions on blockchain, growers, transporters, and dispensaries’ actions are better tracked to ensure legitimacy of the trade. This is in part the idea behind IBM’s “from seed to sale” proposal released last year, in response to British Columbia’s request for input on how to best regulate the industry.

Financial services firm Deloitte said that in Canada alone, the legal trade could make for a $23-billion market, with sales of recreational cannabis alone projected at $4.9 billion-$8.7 billion a year.

Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (segwit) Chain are Referred to as BTC coins. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is today the only Bitcoin implementation that follows Satoshi Nakamoto’s original whitepaper for Peer to Peer Electronic Cash. Bitcoin BCH is the only major public blockchain that maintains the original vision for Bitcoin as fast, frictionless, electronic cash.

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Rwanda eyes blockchain to track conflict minerals supply chain

Rwanda is examining how blockchain technology could improve the supply chain for tantalum, amid international efforts to resolve issues around so-called conflict minerals.

The metal, which is used in several types of consumer electronics, is a significant export in Rwanda, with concentrates from the country accounting for as much as 50% of total global supply according to some measures. However, there is concern internationally around conflict extractions—mining in areas of conflict, with proceeds which often feed into funding and perpetuating fighting between warring armies and factions.

In a statement, Rwandan minister Francis Gatare, CEO of the country’s Mining, Petroleum and Gas Board, said a new blockchain platform has already been implemented by one of Rwanda’s major exporters.

Mineral markets have become increasingly reluctant to do business with Rwandan companies trading in tantalum and other minerals, amid ongoing conflict in the country. Thus a blockchain platform which can accurately check the supply chain from origin to market could be a significant benefit to the tantalum industry there.

In delivering the blockchain platform, the government of Rwanda has drafted in the help of Circulor, a London-based blockchain startup pioneering a supply chain blockchain built on the Hyperledger consortium’s Fabric platform.

The platform is already being used by mining firm PRG Resources, which took part in initial trials of the platform, and then migrated to using the technology in its production. The plan now will see the platform rolled out across the wider mining sector in Rwanda. CEO of Circulor Douglas Johnson-Poensgen said the platform will add significant value to miners in Rwanda.

“Circulor will not only assist miners in Rwanda to adhere to strict guidelines laid out in international agreements to remove conflict minerals from the supply chain but will also record all the production stages before a smartphone or computer reaches the consumer,” he explained.

Blockchain technology has become increasingly relevant to extraction industries in recent months, with mining companies in particular turning to blockchain technology for tracking provenance.

Back in May, diamond firm De Beers conducted blockchain trials through the diamond supply chain, while China-based ZhongAn Technology released a similar model for tracking gems from origin to market.

Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (segwit) Chain are Referred to as BTC coins. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is today the only Bitcoin implementation that follows Satoshi Nakamoto’s original whitepaper for Peer to Peer Electronic Cash. Bitcoin BCH is the only major public blockchain that maintains the original vision for Bitcoin as fast, frictionless, electronic cash.

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Kenya’s cryptocurrency project seeks to improve logistics quality

Several days after Kenya’s electoral agency decided to integrate blockchain into its voting system, the East African country is now reportedly preparing to launch its first blockchain-based cryptocurrency for value supply chain by the end of September. According to the Daily Nation report, the cryptocurrency project, called TMX Global Coin, aims to solve the problems in the logistics industry in Africa. TMX Global Coin was reportedly developed in 2017 as a decentralized platform that utilizes smart contracts to eliminate problems associated with both domestic and international import and export business. Speaking to nation.co.ke, TMX Global CEO Anthony Njoroge pointed that the numerous reports and complaints arising from the supply chain sector especially in Africa, led to the development of Kenya’s own cryptocurrency. He said, “We are using blockchain technology to enhance cargo logistics business to have more open, transparent and democratized process using a decentralized system where all users are able to talk to each other on an open platform.” With the TMX platform, customers can place their orders online and monitor the whole supply chain process. They can also review all of the required documentation before they start the trading. According to Njoroge, “The consumer as well gets to know the amount of money required through the different processes the cargo goes through and the estimated amount of time.” Kenya’s landmark crypto project is set to launch by the end of September 2018, with a goal of gaining adoption in the trading sector by May 2019. Kenya has recently turned to blockchain for help in its bid to boost its economic and political development. The East African country’s Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) chairman Wafula Chebukati announced that the government is eyeing distributed ledger technology (DLT) to improve the efficiency and transparency of Kenya’s electoral system.
Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (segwit) Chain are Referred to as BTC coins. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is today the only Bitcoin implementation that follows Satoshi Nakamoto’s original whitepaper for Peer to Peer Electronic Cash. Bitcoin BCH is the only major public blockchain that maintains the original vision for Bitcoin as fast, frictionless, electronic cash.
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