Blockchain This Week – From Vacations to Chats

What happened in the world of Blockchain this week? Here is a quick recap.

Book your vacation using crypto

Expedia, a popular travel booking website, has added 700,000 more accommodations that can be booked using cryptocurrencies. Hence, Travala.com users who use the Blockchain-based travel booking platform to book Expedia’s accommodations now have more hotel and flight options.

Akon-backed Blockchain hub in Kenya

Akon, a famous Senegalese-American singer, is all set to launch a Blockchain hub aimed to provide Blockchain education and job opportunities in Kenya. Akon’s firm Akoin is partnering with Netherlands-based Effect.AI. This hub planned to launch in 2020 Q4 is first of its kind in Africa.

First-ever regulated digital security fund

The investment management firm, Arca, has announced a digital security fund – Arca U.S. Treasury Fund – which is supposedly the first-ever digital securities product regulated under the Investment Company Act of 1940. Investors can buy shares known as ArCoins and will earn quarterly interest on their investment. Arca plans to generate this interest by investing 80 percent of the fund’s assets in short-term treasury securities, while having the rest in cash and cash equivalents.

Address the complexity of shipping processes with Blockchain

The shipping processes are quite complex, time-consuming, and involve many parties. Adding Blockchain to this ecosystem helps in augmenting the experience while addressing several problems. With such objectives in mind, Ant Group and Alibaba Group have signed a deal with COSCO shipping this week and will explore the use cases for Ant Blockchain in the global shipping industry.

Container authorization with Blockchain tokens

At the same time, the port of Rotterdam is working with CMA-CGM, Hapag-Lloyd, MSC, and many other firms on a pilot that intends to authorize the drivers transporting the cargo containers using blockchain-based tokens. The aim is to curb the frauds, errors, and delays existing in the current PIN-based approach.

Real-estate on Blockchain

Managing the property records is one of the cardinal use cases for using Blockchain in real-estate. Several Chinese courts are using Blockchain-powered e-Sealing to verify the history of operations on the property along with real-time video surveillance of the property. 

Analyzing customer behavior with competitor’s data using Blockchain

Data is the backbone of analytics or AI. The same information is a treasure trove for companies that collect them. Hence these companies never share the data with their competitors even when it is for a greater good. Blockchain organization, Ocean Protocol, is all set to change this. It has announced the completion of a trial with Daimler for a decentralized data exchange. This platform allows auto companies to run analytics and AI engines on competitors’ data without the data ever leaving the competitor and with proper access controls. What is the purpose? – These Blockchain-powered data exchanges help the automakers get a holistic view of their customer behavior. They can compare how a metric tracking customer behavior differs from company to company.

Blockchain-powered Free Trade Zone

In South Korea, the production of industrial hemp is legal in certain areas. One such region, Andong, a city in the Gyeongbuk province, announced on July 7 that they now have a permit to operate a free trade zone for industrial hemp. They additionally announced that they are planning to manage their operations through a blockchain-based platform.

Tracing supply chain on Blockchain

Volvo, which earlier had partnered with a Blockchain startup Circulor to track the cobalt used in its batteries, is now investing in the startup. Volvo believes its partnership with Circulor is instrumental in addressing the ethical supply chain requirements using Blockchain.

Pay in digital yuan for hailing a ride

DiDi Chuxing, popularly known as Uber of China, revealed this week that it had joined the ambitious Chinese digital yuan project. DiDi announced that it is going to work with People Bank Of China to design the DC/EP solution for a wide-scale transportation network.

Chinese digital yuan project is garnering a lot of attention

Meanwhile, the Digital Currency project of China is grabbing the interest of notable businesses. This week, Meituan, a major Chinese e-commerce platform and Bilibilibili, a prominent video sharing service, joined the project. Another Chinese technology firm, ByteDance, is believed to be in close discussion with the banks for working on the digital currency project.

And finally, Unstoppable chats

Unstoppable Domains, a startup focused on building uncensorable websites, has launched a new chat protocol that runs on a peer-to-peer network and has end-to-end encryption. Called Unstoppable Chat or dChat, this unique protocol allows the users to be the sole controller of their messages and enables them to encrypt and store their chats on their own servers.

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