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R3 Blockchain Partnerships

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A new project that includes R3, a Blockchain consortium made up of over 100 financial institutions, trade finance platform TradeIX, and a group of leading global banks have recently announced the launch of a new trade finance platform this Wednesday.

R3 Blockchain Alliance

R3

According to a press release the solution is based on R3’s distributed ledger tech, Corda. The idea of the initiative, which is  being called Marco Polo, consists in developing a “fully interoperable” open-source trade finance network which will eliminate or at the very least make things easier for existing paper processing across the supply chain.

Ivar Wiersma, head of innovation at ING Wholesale Banking said that the concept viability has already been proven during testing in cooperation with ING, BNP and Commerzbank,

Connie Leung from Microsoft said:

“The industry has been looking for solutions to simplify and digitize trade, making supply chain ripe for the benefits of blockchain technology.”

The foundation of a Legal Center of Excellence was also a part of an announcement on Tuesday which aims to educate attorneys about Blockchain technology.

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Robinhood Zero Fee Trading Live!

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The Robinhood mobile trading app has just gone live with its zero-fee Bitcoin and Ethereum trading for the first users of its platform on Thursday, February 22, according to the company’s blog.

Robinhood

The first users to get access to the commission-free platform are customers located in the US states California, Massachusetts, Missouri, Montana, and New Hampshire. The platform stated that the application will be rolled out gradually with support for “many more states” coming “later.”

The platform currently supports the monitoring for prices of 16 types of cryptocurrencies.

The company also claimed that it is moving “to operate this business on break even basics.”

The transaction volume has already reached over $100 bln which is a very good start. Besides the recent trading launch the company also released Robinhood Feed which will allow crypto investors to discuss cryptocurrency markets, trends, new technologies and news online.

We will see if they manage to complete their objective, which is bringing as many new users as possible.

 

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PayPal’s John Rainey on Bitcoin’s Popularity

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According to a recent interview with The Wall Street Journal, PayPal’s chief financial officer, John Rainey, spoke very highly of Bitcoin, and he is very sure that Bitcoin will end up being very popular in the future.

John Rainey From PayPal Praises Bitcoin

In a section of the interview called, “Тhe crypto factor,” Rainey stated that PayPal was one of the first companies to include Bitcoin on their Braintree platform back in 2015.

Rainey said:

“Given the volatility of bitcoin right now, it’s not a reliable currency for transactions because if you’re a merchant and you have a 10% profit margin, and you accept bitcoin, and the very next day bitcoin drops 15%, you are now underwater on that transaction.”

When asked about Bitcoin’s popularity in the future he told the WSJ that there is “a very high likelihood” of that happening:

“The technology, there is real merit to it. I do think, though, it will be years down the road before we see the kind of ubiquity and acceptance that make it a form of currency that is used every day.”

Just like many others, co-founder of PayPal Max Levchin stated back in December that while he believes Blockchain technology is revolutionary, he hasn’t “figure[d] out” where he stands on Bitcoin’s future just yet.

The crypto wallet and exchange platform Coinbase, recently welcomed former PayPal executive David Marcus to its team last December.

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Jason Kelley on the Future of Blockchain

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Bobsguide recently sat down with Jason Kelley, the Head of IBM’s Global Blockchain Services, at London Blockchain Week in January 2018.

In this interview Mr. Kelley shares his opinions on ICO hype, how Blockchain tech will be introduced to the enterprise market and more.

Jason Kelley Interview

IBM is well known as an established player so we are a little surprised to find you here at London Blockchain Week, which feels more like an event for start-ups.

Sure, way back when we were the big IBM. Fast forward to what is now a cloud-based platform company almost drawing on half our revenue, according to our recent earnings for Q4 2017, we’ve gone through a full transformation with a profitable quarter. We’re driving a lot of our business around these faster moving capabilities, things that run on the platform. This is a justification, this isn’t just “watch me doing the dance” – we’re a different IBM just because we’re moving in a different way.

I wouldn’t be here if we weren’t. This is where everything is moving quickly, this is where we get ideas, make relationships and build out the ecosystem moving forward. That’s the ecosystem we’re trying to build, the infrastructure that the little guys here can build upon. For that to work, we need a reliable, scalable platform.

So when they say “I’m ready to do blockchain for enterprise” then that’s where the ecosystem partners with us to deliver not just the large end-to-end applications, but also those microprocesses; behind each supply chain are smaller processes that need integrating and executing. This is the enablement of an ecosystem, a network of networks.

That network of networks requires a lot of work to stitch those pieces together. The ecosystem play is huge. There’s this tree effect where the whole ecosystem of peripherals and everything else now spawns into new business models. You set the stage and then it will have to build out with that ecosystem.

Would you say you’ve changed your approach to reflect changing times?

We’re trying to identify the trailblazers and I’m trying to make sure that we continue to be a convener of opportunity. I’m a custodian of capability, I’m a custodian of end-to-end services. When people ask me who our competitors are I explain that we don’t have one. We are currently in a unique position where we have a platform cloud-based company. That consists of the infrastructure that provides the blockchain capability, IoT, advanced analytics, the cognitive Watson capability; we have global end-to-end services as well as shared services.

You think of old-school shared services, that’s the backend; who’s going to run that when you get to the run stage, who’s going to go ahead and run those different networks? Who’s going to manage that? Well, we do that already. Does that mean that we want to be everything to everybody? No, but I think you have to have that end-to-end capability to get many of the large players started and to create the platform to facilitate start-ups.

Often, companies will come to us and say: “I see this great opportunity for a consortium but I can’t get all ten of the players to play together”. That’s what IBM does and why I’m spending the next 48 hours meeting with clients in a consortium because we’re experienced at herding players. When we facilitate new consortia, we sit the players down and they look at us with wide eyes as I tell them the first five things that are going to stop.

We’re the convener of opportunity. I’m not going to say that’s always going to be our position but right now that’s our position. The quicker, better and faster that we do this, in what is inherently a team sports industry, is going to massively help us and others.

The fact that we’re running in an ecosystem and playing with ex-competitors, such as is the case with DTCC, where we are working with Axoni and R3, and that we’ve just struck a JV deal with Maersk (not yet regulatory approved) in a super-fast time of eight months, that shows we’re a different IBM. We’re running the way the market and our clients are asking us to run. And right now it’s really working well, but we need to move faster in the market, to stand us up in order to get past the hype.

To read more about this interview click here.

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