Consensus Décentralisé - Blockchains - Smart Contracts - Decentralized Consensus
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Consensus Décentralisé - Blockchains - Smart Contracts - Decentralized Consensus
Covering Blockchain, Ethereum, Smart Contracts and Decentralized Consensus Topics at large in both english et en français, notamment pour le compte de LaBChain et de ses 23 partenaires.
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Will Blockchain Technologies Be The Ultimate Trust Solution ? Keynote at IDATE DigiWorld Summit 2016

Will Blockchain Technologies Be The Ultimate Trust Solution ? Keynote at IDATE DigiWorld Summit 2016 | Consensus Décentralisé - Blockchains - Smart Contracts - Decentralized Consensus | Scoop.it

Here is the IDATE 2016 DigiWorld Summit closing panel on Blockchain ; the whole conference was revolving around trust hence the title chosen before I engaged in a panel discussion with Consensys ' Joseph Lubin and Polychain Capital 's Olaf Carlson-Wee

Addressing the question of trust and blockchains requires to remember the context in which Satoshi Nakamoto’s white paper was issued in December 2008 : it was a few months after the subprime crisis and  the fall of Lehman Brothers, at a time when the trust in people was extremely challenged, both in their ability to process numbers without mistake, as well as their tendency to operate behind others back. It was a time where libertarians would trust machines and distrust people.

In a way, The Economist’s « The Trust Machine » could be interpreted as « trust the machines / distrust the middle people » 

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The ETF and You: What Bitcoin’s Big News Means

The ETF and You: What Bitcoin’s Big News Means | Consensus Décentralisé - Blockchains - Smart Contracts - Decentralized Consensus | Scoop.it

The latest news in the Bitcoin space is one that has been in the making for four years: the Winklevoss’ twins Bitcoin ETF will soon be accepted, or rejected, by the Securities and Exchange Commission (the SEC). This decision will leave ripples in Bitcoin’s history, and it’s the first step to legitimizing Bitcoin’s acceptance with the general public.

But first, let’s look at what an ETF is, and why they’re so important.  

Mutual and Exchange-Traded Funds

Funds are important – it’s a building block towards a particular purpose. The most common type of fund – a retirement fund – is a sum of money for after we’ve entered retirement, allowing us to live comfortably in our older years.
 
There are many kinds of funds, but the two main ones are mutual funds, and exchange-traded funds.
 
In a mutual fund, you’re sitting around, trying to figure out the best way to invest in the stock market. Your friends are, too. Sure, you could go out and buy a few stocks each, but you don’t really have the time – or the resources – to manage a diverse portfolio of 50, to 100 stocks. You can’t keep up on the news of when to buy and sell; you don’t know all the different buying and selling strategies, and you don’t have a lot of time to learn. So, what do you do?
 
You and your friends decide to band together, and pool all of your money you’d have spent individually on stocks into a professional investment manager instead. This manager is going to do all the hard work, for a little share of the profit.
 
To keep track of who has invested what (you might have invested one-thousand dollars, but Bobby next door only invested fifty dollars, the stingy bastard), you and each of your friends receive a share – a little token, representing your stake in the total investment. The more tokens you have, the more you’ve invested.
 
You still want to know what your money is doing, though, and you want dailyupdates. So every day, you investment manager tallies up the value of everything it owns, and divides it by the number of shares that exist. Now, you know exactly what each share is worth. If you want to buy more shares, you’re going to know the exact amount of cash to send your investment manager; if you want to sell shares, you’re going to know the exact amount of cash to expect in return. It’s a rather elegant system, and can be used for all sorts of things – stocks, bonds, commodities, and other assets.
 
And then, there’s exchange-traded funds – or ETF’s, for short.
 
An ETF is a type of mutual fund, too, except for one big change. A mutual fund is traded at the end of the day, all at once; an ETF can be traded through the day, like a stock. A mutual fund is steady, and prevents the market from fluctuating at certain hours; an ETF does the opposite, just like a stock, allowing you to potentially make it big if you’re lucky, or clever. Buy shares in the morning, sell them after lunch, buy them again before the sun sets – there’s no limit.
 
You’ll also be able to perform all sorts of stock-like strategies that you can’t perform with a mutual fund – things like selling short; placing a stop-loss; placing a limit order; or buying on-margin.
 
In short, an ETF is a powerful tool with the potential for great risk, but even greater reward. But it’s also simple, transparent, tax efficient, and well structured, and you can access it through any brokerage account.  

Philippe J DEWOST's insight:

Back To Trading ?

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China's Biggest Blockchain Backer Launches Startup Accelerator

China's Biggest Blockchain Backer Launches Startup Accelerator | Consensus Décentralisé - Blockchains - Smart Contracts - Decentralized Consensus | Scoop.it

A blockchain venture backed by Chinese conglomerate Wanxiang Group has launched a new startup accelerator.

The kick-off, which formally took place on 22nd February, comes soon after Wanxiang pledged to spend as much as $30bn on a smart cities initiative, set to be invested over a seven-year period. As part of that plan, Wanxiang, best known as the country's biggest makers of automotive parts, said it would look to fund blockchain entrepreneurs.

As a continuation of that plan, China’s first dedicated blockchain accelerator – dubbed the 'Chainbase Accelerator' –  will initially launch with four startups under its wing.

During the launch event in the Hongkou District of Shanghai, Feng Xiao, vice president and executive director of China Wanxiang Holdings – the group’s financial arm – invoked its smart city initiative once again, stating that the conglomerate sees a role for blockchain in the areas of next-generation energy delivery, digital currency and smart governance.

Philippe J DEWOST's insight:

Acceleration of Blockchain startups is in the air and Asia leads the pack. When will Europe wake up ?

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Announcing the first SHA1 collision

Announcing the first SHA1 collision | Consensus Décentralisé - Blockchains - Smart Contracts - Decentralized Consensus | Scoop.it

Cryptographic hash functions like SHA-1 are a cryptographer’s swiss army knife. You’ll find that hashes play a role in browser security, managing code repositories, or even just detecting duplicate files in storage. Hash functions compress large amounts of data into a small message digest. As a cryptographic requirement for wide-spread use, finding two messages that lead to the same digest should be computationally infeasible. Over time however, this requirement can fail due to attacks on the mathematical underpinnings of hash functions or to increases in computational power.

Today, 10 years after of SHA-1 was first introduced, we are announcing the first practical technique for generating a collision. This represents the culmination of two years of research that sprung from a collaboration between the CWI Institute in Amsterdam and Google. We’ve summarized how we went about generating a collision below. As a proof of the attack, we are releasing two PDFs that have identical SHA-1 hashes but different content.

For the tech community, our findings emphasize the necessity of sunsetting SHA-1 usage. Google has advocated the deprecation of SHA-1 for many years, particularly when it comes to signing TLS certificates. As early as 2014, the Chrome team announced that they would gradually phase out using SHA-1. We hope our practical attack on SHA-1 will cement that the protocol should no longer be considered secure.

We hope that our practical attack against SHA-1 will finally convince the industry that it is urgent to move to safer alternatives such as SHA-256.

What is a cryptographic hash collision?

A collision occurs when two distinct pieces of data—a document, a binary, or a website’s certificate—hash to the same digest as shown above. In practice, collisions should never occur for secure hash functions. However if the hash algorithm has some flaws, as SHA-1 does, a well-funded attacker can craft a collision. The attacker could then use this collision to deceive systems that rely on hashes into accepting a malicious file in place of its benign counterpart. For example, two insurance contracts with drastically different terms.

Philippe J DEWOST's insight:

This was anticipated yet the fact that it did happen is still a significant milestone. Hopefully we have SHA-256 and the question is now to frame how long this hash function will remain uncompromised.

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Philippe J DEWOST's curator insight, February 23, 10:08 AM

This was anticipated yet the fact that it did happen is still a significant milestone. Hopefully we have SHA-256 and the question is now to frame how long this hash function will remain uncompromised.

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JP Morgan, Santander Said to Join New "Enterprise Ethereum" Blockchain Group

JP Morgan, Santander Said to Join New "Enterprise Ethereum" Blockchain Group | Consensus Décentralisé - Blockchains - Smart Contracts - Decentralized Consensus | Scoop.it

New details have emerged about a soon-to-be-launched initiative focused on enterprise uses of the ethereum protocol.

Dubbed Enterprise Ethereum, the project's founding membership is said to include major financial institutions, tech giants and natural resources companies. According to sources, participating firms include JP Morgan, CME Group, BNY Mellon, Banco Santander, Microsoft, Red Hat, Cisco, Wipro and British Petroleum, among others.

Blockchain startups BlockApps, Brainbot Technologies, ConsenSys, Nuco and Tendermint – as well as the Ethereum Foundation, the non-profit that oversees its code creation – are also said to be involved.

Many of the companies on the list above have already worked with ethereum, such as JPMorgan, which has developed several projects based on that codebase. Notably, Enterprise Ethereum appears to include both existing and former stakeholders in the R3 blockchain consortium.

The initiative is perhaps the most significant to date in terms of enterprise interest and the scale of development being discussed. It also signals a deepening of interest among financial firms in the ethereum platform, albeit one focused in part on implementations that are separate yet compatible with the public ethereum network.

What's more, sources say that members plan to work on initiatives that would relate to both the public ethereum network as well as permissioned or private version.

More companies are expected to join the effort, sources suggest.

Philippe J DEWOST's insight:

Watch this "Enterprise Blockchain" move very carefully as heavyweight banking and industry leaders are about to join...

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Fully homomorphic encryption, or how to perform operations over encrypted data | Orange Research blog

Fully homomorphic encryption, or how to perform operations over encrypted data | Orange Research blog | Consensus Décentralisé - Blockchains - Smart Contracts - Decentralized Consensus | Scoop.it

Can we outsource medical analysis without giving away our medical information? Can we do biometrical identification without revealing our characteristics? Can we make statistics on data that we do not know? Yes we can, thanks to a cryptographic mechanism called “homomorphic encryption”.

Cryptography has known many transformations over the years. Many centuries ago, it was first used to protect military and political communications. Though very simple, the mechanisms then devised are still the foundation of current cryptography. The introduction of the computer during Second World War considerably increased the computation capacity. This increase reflected on cryptography in the late 70’s, when public key cryptography was invented. Cryptography became a thriving scientific field. Numerous academic works were produced, commercial standards were set and cryptographic algorithms began to secure our daily life. Today, cryptography is everywhere: in our credit cards, in our phone communications, in our internet browsing, etc.
But new services are today under deployment, such as mobile services, cloud computing, BigData or IoT. These services generate and process a huge amount of personal and sensitive information. As users become more and more concerned about their privacy, and industries want to protect their sensitive data, a new challenge arises for cryptography. Indeed, if this data was to be simply encrypted, processing it would be impossible. This leaves users and service providers with a dilemma: choose between usability and confidentiality of these sensitive data. Here comes fully homomorphic encryption!

Philippe J DEWOST's insight:

Here is a fantastic "paper" by Orange Research that deciphers homomorphic encryption in a very clear way, and outlines its future and challenges.

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Government-Blockchain Relationships Have Been Warming Up Since the Beginning of 2017

Government-Blockchain Relationships Have Been Warming Up Since the Beginning of 2017 | Consensus Décentralisé - Blockchains - Smart Contracts - Decentralized Consensus | Scoop.it

The first month of 2017 has been surprisingly fruitful for government-blockchain relationships, given the traditionally cautious approach to anything controversial by the public sector to. In less than a month, a series of actions have been taken by progressive international authorities, central banks and governmental organizations to bring DLT closer to the public rather than simply observing boiling with initiatives private sector.

The ultimate leader – Estonia

Let’s take a closer look at what exactly are some of the national authorities doing with DLT starting with an unconventional leader that doesn’t receive enough credit – Estonia. It’s been almost a year since Nasdaq and the Republic of Estonia have announced that Estonia’s e-Residency platform will be facilitating a blockchain-based e-voting service to allow shareholders of companies listed on Nasdaq’s Tallinn Stock Exchange, Estonia’s only regulated securities market, to vote in shareholder meetings. The program marks the second official blockchain project Nasdaq is executing on after successfully delivering the first private securities issuance between an investor and company via Nasdaq Linq, its blockchain-enabled platform.

 

Philippe J DEWOST's insight:

Nice analysis by Elena Mesropyan, that confirms that an appropriate (continental) EU approach could rely on aligning on (and running after) the fastest instead of standing by the most powerful...

France would have deserved a deeper analysis as Banque de France is accelerating while Caisse Des Depots's LaBChain is getting traction and has become the de facto largest pan european research consortium with 28 members.

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La technologie blockchain permettrait aux banques d'économiser 12 Mds $ par an — voici 4 activités où les coûts baisseront de plus de 50%

La technologie blockchain permettrait aux banques d'économiser 12 Mds $ par an — voici 4 activités où les coûts baisseront de plus de 50% | Consensus Décentralisé - Blockchains - Smart Contracts - Decentralized Consensus | Scoop.it

Les banques d'investissement pourraient économiser entre 8 et 12 milliards de dollars par an d'ici 2025 si elles adoptaient la technologie blockchain, selon un rapport d'Accenture et McLagan publié mardi 17 janvier 2017

Blockchain est une technologie permettant de stocker et de transmettre des valeurs au sein d'un réseau informatique. Sa particularité, c'est qu'il est tenu par un réseau de serveurs et opère sans la supervision d'un organe central de contrôle.

Aujourd'hui, chaque banque d'investissement gère de façon indépendante ses propres registres en ligne, de transactions, de données clients etc. 

Selon le rapport du cabinet de conseil, avec la technologie blockchain, les banques passeraient de cette organisation fragmentée à une base de données partagée, sans intermédiaire, où chaque utilisateur de la base pourra vérifier la validité de la chaîne. 

Pour les banques d'investissement, les cabinets de conseil Accenture et McLagan ont trouvé quatre domaines d'activité dans lesquels des économies, allant de 30% jusqu'à 70%, pourraient être générées grâce à l'adoption de la technologie blockchain:

  • Les coûts des rapports financiers pourraient être réduits de 70%. Le registre en ligne partagé qu'implique l'adoption de cette technologie permettrait entre autres d'avoir accès à une qualité optimisée des données et à plus de transparence.
  • Les coûts de mise en conformité pourraient être diminués de 30 à 50%. 
  • 50% d'économies pourraient être réalisées sur les opérations centralisées telles que l'obligation de "connaître son client", notamment grâce à la mise en place d'une source unique de données clients sécurisée.
  • Les coûts des opérations courantes dans le domaine bancaire comme la compensation ou la réconciliation des comptes pourraient être réduits de 50%. Pour chaque transaction, une banque donnée effectue une réconciliation des comptes, une opération qui fait état de la concordance entre le solde du compte bancaire présenté dans la comptabilité à un instant donné avec le relevé délivré par la banque. Cette procédure prend du temps et beaucoup d'argent et concerne chaque aspect du secteur des marchés de capitaux.
Philippe J DEWOST's insight:

Accenture ajoute : "Après la crise du crédit de 2008, les régulateurs hésiteront sans doute à réduire sensiblement le rôle d'infrastructures de compensation et de règlement nouvellement créées et renforcées (...) sans être tout à fait certains que les réseaux blockchain représentent une alternative sûre et solide".

Mais la crise du crédit de 2008 n'est-elle pas ce qui a conduit Satoshi Nakamoto a rendre public ses (leurs ?) travaux dans un contexte ou précisément le niveau de défiance envers les intermédiaires humains atteignait son paroxysme ?

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Blockchain Technology to Power Next-Generation Distributed Supercomputers

Blockchain Technology to Power Next-Generation Distributed Supercomputers | Consensus Décentralisé - Blockchains - Smart Contracts - Decentralized Consensus | Scoop.it

Massively distributed supercomputing is suitable for those demanding computing problems that are amenable to massive parallelization — splitting a large problem into many smaller tasks that can be farmed out to a distributed network. But there are ways to “parallelize” many computing tasks that, at a first glance, don’t seem suitable for massively parallel computing.

One of the first successful examples of massively distributed supercomputing was SETI@home, a crowdsourced citizen science project started in 1999 to find candidate signals from alien intelligences. The SETI@home system sends millions of chunks of data (“work units”) to the participants, to be analyzed by their home computers. The SETI@home software processes the data on the participants’ computers in the idle times used by screensavers, and sends the analysis results back. Initially powered by custom software, SETI@home was later ported to the BOINC (Berkeley Open Infrastructure for Network Computing) platform, which powers other similar projects including the vLHC@home citizen science project for particle physics, managed by CERN.

Volunteer citizen scientists contribute their own computing resources to BOINC projects for karma points and the satisfaction of contributing to important causes. But it seems likely that the new crowdsourced supercomputing paradigm can achieve critical mass only once viable ways to financially reward the participants are introduced.

Enter blockchain technology. It’s worth noting that Bitcoin provided a spectacular demonstration that the general masses will flock to the weirdest ideas proposed by scientists and social activists if they can make money in the process.

TechCrunch ran a story on the potential of distributed ledger technology to usher in a new era of massively distributed computing with next-generation platforms that enable participants to lend and borrow computing resources — and make money in the process.

The story mentions several innovative blockchain companies, including Golem, a Polish company that is developing an “Airbnb for computers” able to “reduce costs and increase speed in domains such as scientific research, machine learning and graphics rendering, while making it possible for anyone with an average or better computer to share resources and make a side income,” with an Ethereum-based transaction system to clear payments between buyers, providers and software developers. Golem’s plans have found favor among investors, resulting in the third-largest platform ICO (Initial Coin Offering) ever, which raised $8.6 million in minutes.

Philippe J DEWOST's insight:

The SETI@Home comeback

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La révolution blockchain s'accélère dans l'énergie, les services publics et la finance -

La révolution blockchain s'accélère dans l'énergie, les services publics et la finance - | Consensus Décentralisé - Blockchains - Smart Contracts - Decentralized Consensus | Scoop.it
Supprimer les intermédiaires, certifier et sécuriser les opérations lors des transactions, diminuer le coût de ces transactions, simplifie
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"Blockchain : pas d'applications grand public avant 3 ou 5 ans"

"Blockchain : pas d'applications grand public avant 3 ou 5 ans" | Consensus Décentralisé - Blockchains - Smart Contracts - Decentralized Consensus | Scoop.it
La blockchain : signal faible ou révolution pour l'action publique locale ? Nadia Filali, responsable de ce dossier au sein de la Caisse des dépôts et co-pliote du
Via BRU
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Blockchain has the potential to revolutionize the supply chain

Blockchain has the potential to revolutionize the supply chain | Consensus Décentralisé - Blockchains - Smart Contracts - Decentralized Consensus | Scoop.it

As a distributed ledger that ensures both transparency and security, the blockchain is showing promise to fix the current problems of the supply chain. A simple application of the blockchain paradigm to the supply chain would be to register the transfer of goods on the ledger as transactions that would identify the parties involved, as well as the price, date, location, quality and state of the product and any other information that would be relevant to managing the supply chain.
The public availability of the ledger would make it possible to trace back every product to the very origin of the raw material used. The decentralized structure of the ledger would make it impossible for any one party to hold ownership of the ledger and manipulate the data to their own advantage. And the cryptography-based and immutable nature of the transactions would make it nearly impossible to compromise the ledger. Some experts already believe that the blockchain is unhackable.
Several efforts are already being made to leverage the power of the blockchain in improving the management of the supply chain. IBM has already rolled out a service that allows customers to test blockchains in a secure cloud and track high-value items through complex supply chains. The service is being used by Everledger, a firm that is trying to use the blockchain to push transparency into the diamond supply chain and thus help fix a market fraught with forced labor and tied to the funding of violence across Africa.
London-based Provenance is aiming to build trust across the supply chain from the source to the consumer by deploying Bitcoin- and Ethereum-based blockchains that enable companies to be more transparent on how they build their products. This includes disclosing everything about environmental impact, where the products were made and who they were made by.

Philippe J DEWOST's insight:

Interesting piece that raises the question of how you securely peg a unique crypto-asset to a unique element of the real world, be it a diamond, a spare part, a container or a cutlet. For fluids it looks like dropping and merging a few drops of DNA edited liquids might provide a dilution resistant answer, but for other solid parts it may prove more difficult to implement tamper resistant ID methods.

Bytes and atoms need stronger bonds in order to be securely involved in blockchain based, auditable transactions...

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What Investors Should Know Before Trading Zcash - CoinDesk

What Investors Should Know Before Trading Zcash - CoinDesk | Consensus Décentralisé - Blockchains - Smart Contracts - Decentralized Consensus | Scoop.it

Bitcoin, which had its genesis block mined in 2009, was the first digital currency to scale. While many early adopters took interest in bitcoin because of its promise of privacy, the digital currency failed to provide this benefit, as interested parties can examine the transactions recorded on bitcoin’s blockchain to get a sense of exactly what a person or entity has purchased.
In the years following bitcoin’s release, developers have created privacy-oriented digital currencies including Dash and Monero. Both of these use innovative technologies to help increase the chances of their users remaining anonymous.
Dash leverages a technique called "CoinJoin", in which several users put funds into the same transaction in order to increase the chances of privacy. Alternatively, Monero harnesses ring signatures to reduce the chance of detection.
Both of these cryptocurrencies have made great progress toward realizing the goal of anonymous transactions, and Monero has received widespread adoption in the dark web.
However, Zcash’s technology seemingly gives users the ability to enjoy an even greater level of privacy. By allowing users to remain anonymous, Zcash can provide them with greater fungibility.
This is because many digital currency transactions rely on the use of private keys – strings of letters and numbers that identify a user. An address can become attached to several transactions over time, making it easy for friends, family, marketers or even government authorities to learn more about a person’s purchasing trends.
And if a user’s private key is attached to certain transactions, some parties may refuse to accept his or her money. This is where Zcash comes in.

Philippe J DEWOST's insight:

Everything you wanted (and should) know about Zcash without ever daring asking... Plus a new intriguing acronym as zk-SNARK enters the scene when it comes to establishing consensus.

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Bitcoin accepting shops, ATM's & venues in Europe

Bitcoin accepting shops, ATM's & venues in Europe | Consensus Décentralisé - Blockchains - Smart Contracts - Decentralized Consensus | Scoop.it

Extremely interesting map, especially if you play with the interactive timeline at the bottom. France still kind of a laggard though.

Philippe J DEWOST's insight:

Extremely interesting map, especially if you play with the interactive timeline at the bottom. France still kind of a laggard though.

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The World's Largest Shipping Firm Now Tracks Cargo on Blockchain - CoinDesk

The World's Largest Shipping Firm Now Tracks Cargo on Blockchain - CoinDesk | Consensus Décentralisé - Blockchains - Smart Contracts - Decentralized Consensus | Scoop.it

The Danish shipping giant Maersk has revealed the completion of its first live blockchain trial, aimed at simplifying the way in which it sends trillions of dollars worth of products around the world.
Coming at a time when the firm that accounts for 15.8% of the world's global shipping fleet traffic has experienced a sharp decrease in annual revenue, the application was designed to help save costs by moving the expensive and time-consuming paperwork between each of the counterparties to a blockchain-based smart contract system.
Built in partnership with IBM using Hyperledger’s open-source Fabric blockchain, the test resulted in a trans-Atlantic shipment of goods from Schneider Electric, a French energy management and automation company.
Following the successful test, Ibrahim Gokcen, chief digital officer for Maersk Transport & Logistics, said that the company sees a potential role for the technology in its supply chain management process, and is exploring other applications as well.

Philippe J DEWOST's insight:

Industrial Applications around the Block(chain) and it makes a lot of sense once you have understood it is all about tracking assets, virtual or not, across the history of the transactions they have been involved in

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We Don’t Need Blockchain: R3 Consortium After $59 Million Research

We Don’t Need Blockchain: R3 Consortium After $59 Million Research | Consensus Décentralisé - Blockchains - Smart Contracts - Decentralized Consensus | Scoop.it

R3 Consortium’s decision to seemingly abandon Blockchain technology altogether has garnered ridicule from cryptocurrency circles.

In a presentation on its Corda platform, the distributed database technology startup, which features some of the world’s largest corporations and banks, said it “didn’t need” a Blockchain.

This lack of need R3 described as a “pertinent feature” of Corda.

R3 has been moving away from involvement with Blockchain for some time. Its language has more recently changed from being a “Blockchain startup” to a “Blockchain-inspired startup,” as director Clemens Wan described it at the Construct conference in January.

"We found that we didn't want a Blockchain, we wanted to be Blockchain inspired,” he said.

Commentators reacted to the startup’s latest tone with thinly-veiled criticism. The Blockchain research process R3 undertook is reported to have cost $59 mln, money which resulted in no Blockchain being necessary.

Bitcoin Think editor Beautyon described the findings on Twitter as R3 “conceding defeat.”

Philippe J DEWOST's insight:

Looks like a giant misunderstanding about to be clarified. Hope it won't be the hard way.

We are indeed post Gartner's Peak of Inflated Expectations (as most CEOs who committed early to R3 probably expected a turnkey solution within a few quarters) and skiing down the slope towards Trough of Disillusionment (where most self proclaimed tech gurus will start moving to more exciting topics such as AI and robotics).

Now it really becomes interesting !

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The Energy Web Foundation: Bringing Blockchain Technology to the Grid

The Energy Web Foundation: Bringing Blockchain Technology to the Grid | Consensus Décentralisé - Blockchains - Smart Contracts - Decentralized Consensus | Scoop.it

Blockchain technology—the technology underpinning the Bitcoin virtual currency—is being discussed as one of the most potentially disruptive technologies since the Internet. Blockchains are a combination of information technology, cryptography, and governance principles that enables transactions to occur without the need for a third party to establish trust between transacting parties.

To put it another way, in today’s transactions a number of human processes and institutions—such as banks, lawyers, regulators, brokers, and utilities—are paid to establish trust. Blockchain technology replaces these institutions, making it possible to conduct transactions without a third party intermediary.

At Rocky Mountain Institute, we believe that blockchain technology has the potential to play a significant, potentially game-changing role in the global electricity system’s transition to a more secure, resilient, cost-effective, and low-carbon grid.

Blockchain Technology and the Electric Grid

In the face of aggressive growth in distributed energy resources (DERs)—such as rooftop solar, demand response, and electric vehicles—governments, utilities, and other stakeholders from across the globe are experimenting with new ways to better regulate and manage the electricity grid. These experiments currently face four main issues regardless of their geography:  

  • Controlling demand is difficult: Customers are concerned about privacy and sometimes loathe to share data—let alone allow third parties to control DERs that they own.
  • Tracking flows of energy is imperfect: Energy markets and markets for the attributes of energy (e.g., renewable energy credits) can be expensive to run, can be subject to double spending, and can usually be accessed only via intermediaries.  

  • Not everyone can participate in the grid’s evolution: In developed economies, only large, sophisticated businesses are able to enter into off-site power purchase agreements for renewables. In emerging economies, access to capital is a major barrier to accessing DERs and renewable energy, even if these technologies are capable of generating cost savings.

  • Putting customers and DERs first is challenging: The entire grid was originally designed from the top down, making it challenging to put customers and DERs first.

Although it is not yet 100 percent clear how, blockchain technology may be capable of solving these challenges:  

  • Blockchains provide privacy, enhance cybersecurity, and are a low-cost way of managing DER-focused transactions at the edge of the distribution grid.

  • Blockchains provide a more transparent and, at the same time, a more secure way of tracking energy flows than the status quo.

  • Blockchains enable small-scale and low-credit customers to participate in business models focused on DERs and renewable energy.

  • Blockchains are a key enabler of balancing and managing the grid from the bottom up versus today’s top-down approach.

To unlock this value and help accelerate blockchain technology development in the electricity sector, RMI and Grid Singularity—an Austria-based blockchain technology developer—formed the Energy Web Foundation (EWF).

Philippe J DEWOST's insight:

electrons are indeed very particular assets especially when they need to be traded : their post trade delivery mechanism, the value loss when they are stored, and the advent of microgrids make it plausible for Blockchain Technology to play a core role...

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Scorechain joins LaBChain, first banking-finance-insurance European Consortium dedicated to Blockchain Technology

Scorechain joins LaBChain, first banking-finance-insurance European Consortium dedicated to Blockchain Technology | Consensus Décentralisé - Blockchains - Smart Contracts - Decentralized Consensus | Scoop.it

Scorechain rejoint LaBChain, le premier consortium européen banque-finance-assurance dédié à la technologie Blockchain.

En tout LaBChain intègre 8 nouveaux partenaires : Allianz, Groupama, OFI Asset Management, RCI Bank and Services ainsi que les start-ups BELEM, Scorechain, Stratumn et Utocat.

Le consortium rassemble désormais autour de la Caisse des Dépôts 26 partenaires banquiers1, asset managers, assureurs, mutualistes, start-ups, entreprises industrielles et associations.

Lancé par la Caisse des Dépôts en décembre 2015, LaBChain est le laboratoire d’innovation dédié aux technologies de registres distribués afin de mutualiser les démarches d’exploration et d’anticiper collectivement les opportunités et impacts de cette rupture technologique, en priorité dans les métiers de la banque-finance-assurance. Cette initiative soutient également le développement de l’écosystème français Blockchain en organisant ses travaux autour de partenariats entre grands groupes et start-ups.

Pour rappel, LaBChain s’organise autour de :

  • Une académie de « Learn » dédiée aux collaborateurs des partenaires LaBChain à la 
technologie Blockchain ;
  • Un « Do Tank », où chaque partenaire met à disposition des ressources en vue d’identifier et 
de prototyper, en mode agile, les scénarii d’implémentation possibles de cette technologie, et de partager des cas d’usages concrets et réalisables par une ou plusieurs des parties prenantes de la Blockchain. A ce jour, plusieurs expérimentations (POC) ont été menées ou sont en cours, notamment sur l’identité numérique et le KYC ou la gestion du collateral titres ;
  • Un « Think Tank » afin de répondre aux questions soulevées par les travaux du « Do Tank » et d’approfondir la réflexion sur les enjeux de cette technologie, en lien avec les partenaires institutionnels régulateurs.

1. Allianz, AXA, Aviva France, BNP Paribas, CNP Assurances, Crédit Agricole, Groupama, Groupe BPCE, La Banque Postale, La MAIF, OFI Asset Management, RCI Bank and Services, Société Générale, BELEM, Blockchain Solutions, Cellabz, CommonAccord, IBM, Ledger, OCTO Technology, Paymium, Scorechain, Stratumn, Utocat, PME Finance, Pôle de compétitivité Finance Innovation

Philippe J DEWOST's insight:

Bienvenue à Scorechain dans LaBChain ! 26 partenaires & counting...

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Algorithmes ou institutions humaines?

Algorithmes ou institutions humaines? | Consensus Décentralisé - Blockchains - Smart Contracts - Decentralized Consensus | Scoop.it

Depuis plus d’une décennie, nous vivons de multiples révolutions : économiques, sociales, environnementales et même de nos pratiques et usages. Ces révolutions sont portées par de nouvelles technologies qui ont l’ambition de participer à la construction d’un monde meilleur. L’émergence de la blockchain a suscité analyses prophétiques et commentaires enthousiastes. Ce protocole technique inspire une réflexion sur une société plus équilibrée, plus juste et interroge la fabrique de la confiance. Cet essai questionne les transformations portées par la blockchain, en explique les mécaniques de fonctionnement et les prochaines évolutions. Ouvrage de découverte autant que large panorama des travaux accomplis, c’est une manière facile d’explorer cet écosystème. L’innovation est la clé de réussite des nouvelles stratégies entrepreneuriales et la blockchain est une technologie à même de rebattre les cartes. Elle interroge aussi le rôle des institutions, les opposant, en quelque sorte, aux algorithmes.

Philippe J DEWOST's insight:

Philippe Rodriguez, d'Avolta Partners, est l'auteur d'une formule géniale : "le proof of work, c'est l'anti-captcha".

Je recommande ce livre sans réserves pour ceux qui veulent aller au delà du buzz (et du bull%$£t) et se mettre à réfléchir...

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La blockchain enfin opérationnelle ?

A l’occasion de la 6e Conférence annuelle du marché boursier du 17 Janvier 2017, Nadia Filali, Directrice du programme Blockchain à la Caisse des Depôts, et Frank Guiader, Directeur de la division Fintech, Innovation et Compétitivité à l’AMF, présentent les atouts de la place de Paris dans le développement de la technologie Blockchain.

Philippe J DEWOST's insight:

En français dans le texte

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The Truth About Blockchain

It will take years to transform business, but the journey begins now as Blockchain could slash the cost of transactions and reshape the economy.

 

Transformative applications are still far away. But it makes sense to evaluate their possibilities now and invest in developing technology that can enable them. They will be most powerful when tied to a new business model in which the logic of value creation and capture departs from existing approaches. Such business models are hard to adopt but can unlock future growth for companies.

Consider how law firms will have to change to make smart contracts viable. They’ll need to develop new expertise in software and blockchain programming. They’ll probably also have to rethink their hourly payment model and entertain the idea of charging transaction or hosting fees for contracts, to name just two possible approaches. Whatever tack they take, executives must be sure they understand and have tested the business model implications before making any switch.

Transformative scenarios will take off last, but they will also deliver enormous value. Two areas where they could have a profound impact: large-scale public identity systems for such functions as passport control, and algorithm-driven decision making in the prevention of money laundering and in complex financial transactions that involve many parties. We expect these applications won’t reach broad adoption and critical mass for at least another decade and probably more.

Transformative applications will also give rise to new platform-level players that will coordinate and govern the new ecosystems. These will be the Googles and Facebooks of the next generation. It will require patience to realize such opportunities. Though it may be premature to start making significant investments in them now, developing the required foundations for them—tools and standards—is still worthwhile.

 

CONCLUSION

 

In addition to providing a good template for blockchain’s adoption, TCP/IP has most likely smoothed the way for it. TCP/IP has become ubiquitous, and blockchain applications are being built on top of the digital data, communication, and computation infrastructure, which lowers the cost of experimentation and will allow new use cases to emerge rapidly.

With our framework, executives can figure out where to start building their organizational capabilities for blockchain today. They need to ensure that their staffs learn about blockchain, to develop company-specific applications across the quadrants we’ve identified, and to invest in blockchain infrastructure.

But given the time horizons, barriers to adoption, and sheer complexity involved in getting to TCP/IP levels of acceptance, executives should think carefully about the risks involved in experimenting with blockchain. Clearly, starting small is a good way to develop the know-how to think bigger. But the level of investment should depend on the context of the company and the industry. Financial services companies are already well down the road to blockchain adoption. Manufacturing is not.

No matter what the context, there’s a strong possibility that blockchain will affect your business. The very big question is when.

Philippe J DEWOST's insight:

Must Read Harvard Business Review "paper" that clearly lays out Blockchain not a "disruptive" but "foundational" and reminds us that while it will take years to transform business, the journey begins now.

Contains also nice recommandations for executives about starting small and being patient / humble while they explore : this is exactly what we at #LaBChain are engaging in with our 30 partners...

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BCG - Thinking Outside the Blocks

BCG - Thinking Outside the Blocks | Consensus Décentralisé - Blockchains - Smart Contracts - Decentralized Consensus | Scoop.it

Just as punk rock was repackaged as new wave, so was Bitcoin domesticated into blockchain.

It burst on to the popular imagination and the conference circuit. Visionary Don Tapscott affirmed, “I’ve never seen a technology that I thought had greater potential for humanity.” CEOs pointedly asked whether this was yet another disruptive technology. Their subordinates were set to investigate how it might work. And they found that it is all rather complicated.

Hints of disillusion. Time, perhaps, for some strategic analysis.

The truly disruptive technical advances of the past decades, the PC and the internet, had something in common. They wasted a newly cheap resource—computing power and bandwidth, respectively—to do something radically new. Digital tokens and blockchains, two distinct but complementary technologies, waste cheap storage to give data the continuity of real-world assets. Bitcoin is just the first application. The technologies are far from mature, but if scalability limitations are overcome, they will have long-term disruptive potential in complex transaction networks such as trade, health care, and the Internet of Things. And it is by no means obvious that traditional intermediaries will be able to control them.

Philippe J DEWOST's insight:

Very insightful analysis by The Boston Consulting Group ; wondering if they will rebrand BCG as the Bitcoin Consulting Group or the Blockchain Consulting Group...

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Une fabrique de cryptomonnaie au milieu des alpages

Une fabrique de cryptomonnaie au milieu des alpages | Consensus Décentralisé - Blockchains - Smart Contracts - Decentralized Consensus | Scoop.it
L’entreprise Alpareum fabrique des ethers, cryptomonnaie crée en 2015, dans une ancienne fabrique de Linthal au cœu
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Deutsche Bundesbank & Deutsche Börse Working On Blockchain Prototype

Deutsche Bundesbank & Deutsche Börse Working On Blockchain Prototype | Consensus Décentralisé - Blockchains - Smart Contracts - Decentralized Consensus | Scoop.it

The German Federal Bank (Deutsche Bundesbank) and Deutsche Börse, one of the world's leading marketplace organizers for the trading of shares and other securities, have jointly presented a functional prototype for the Blockchain-based settlement of securities.
 
According to the official press release, this prototype is designed to provide the technical functionality for the settlement of securities in delivery-versus-payment mode for centrally-issued digital coins, as well is capable of settling basic corporate actions such as coupon payments on securities and the redemption of maturing securities. 

Carl-Ludwig Thiele, Member of the Deutsche Bundesbank's Executive Board commented: 

"With the blockchain prototype, the Deutsche Bundesbank and Deutsche Börse want to work together to find out whether this technology can be used for financial transactions, and if so, how this can be achieved. The Deutsche Bundesbank hopes that this prototype will contribute to a better practical understanding of blockchain technology in order to assess its potential.” 

The prototype is now a conceptual study, but both Deutsche Börse and the Deutsche Bundesbank plan to work on improving the prototype and drawing up a test concept in the next few months. Then this product will be used to analyse the technical performance and the scalability of this kind of blockchain-based application.

Philippe J DEWOST's insight:

Maybe time for Deutsche Bank and Deutsche Börse to join LaBChain ?

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Bitcoin and blockchain seem more and more like solutions looking for a problem

Bitcoin and blockchain seem more and more like solutions looking for a problem | Consensus Décentralisé - Blockchains - Smart Contracts - Decentralized Consensus | Scoop.it

The bitcoin and blockchain world is in a bit of an investment slump.
Venture money flowing into startups working on cryptocurrencies or the technical principles underpinning them, generally known as blockchain technology, is getting harder to come by, according to data from trade publication CoinDesk. “It really seems like we’re in a slow phase with bitcoin and blockchain right now where people are mainly building infrastructure,” says Zavain Dar, a venture capitalist at Lux Capital who has taught classes on cryptocurrency at Stanford and has invested in Blockstream, one of the biggest companies in the sector.
What’s more, efforts to adapt blockchain tech to replace legacy financial systems by the world’s biggest banks seem to be hitting roadblocks. This week saw the departures of Goldman Sachs and Santander from one of the highest-profile attempts to create a consortium of financial institutions to work on the technology, called R3CEV.
It seems that both risk-loving venture capitalists and generally risk-averse banks are dialing back their investment in a technology that was supposed to change the world—but hasn’t, as Timothy B. Lee at Vox has pointed out.
Startups working on blockchain tech have raised $376 million so far this year, which is 17% less than the amount raised over the same period last year, according to CoinDesk’s latest quarterly research report. Funding declined every quarter in 2015, in stark contrast to three quarters of successive growth the previous year.

Philippe J DEWOST's insight:

Must read Quartz analysis that confirms there were some natural market overexpectations : corporate bankers and policy makers are humans after all, and like every human they reason linearly. When you face power laws you therefore overexpect the next 2 years and underestimate the 10 years horizon.

This being said / laid, we are still facing an ongoing experiment with uncertain outcomes and better be prepared to those that may emerge at much greater speed than our ability to catch up.

Hence the approach we have chosen when shaping LaBChain...

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