From Australian beef to luxury goods, retail giant JD.com is using blockchain to help ensure that online goods aren’t fake. Jian Pei, head of blockchain and big data at the company, says tracking and tracing products will boost consumer confidence in e-commerce.
Germany may be ahead in funding, but the regulatory environment for blockchain start-ups in Switzerland is more favorable. Zug investment firm CV VC explains why the two countries need to build a closer dialogue on blockchain.
Swisscom and Deutsche Börse have turned the shares of a Swiss company into tokens and traded them using blockchain as part of a pilot project. Swisscom Blockchain CEO Lukas Hohl says the partnership with Deutsche Börse is “on track” and that they are also open to partnership discussions with SIX Swiss Exchange.
Swiss blockchain start-ups head to the Singapore Fintech Festival; SEBA Bank now accepts clients from Switzerland; Novartis ramps up focus on blockchain; and the ambitious plan to bring Bitcoin to the masses in Switzerland.
Swiss pharmaceutical giant Novartis will ramp up its focus on blockchain in 2020. “We are now at the point where we say, we want to go live,” says blockchain lead Marco Cuomo. The company will start by digitizing manual processes to increase efficiency. Novartis is also leading a blockchain healthcare consortium as part of the Innovative Medicines Initiative. So far, 28 entities are onboard including 11 pharma companies.
Wecan Tokenize closes sale of Lisbon properties for 11 million euros through digital tokens, Swiss-Singaporean start-up Rice Exchange links up with Fujitsu to tackle the rice trade, and the Bank for International Settlements discusses the e-franc, central bank digital currencies and Libra.
The Basel-based Bank for International Settlements is the bank of central banks. General manager Agustín Carstens sits down to discuss central bank digital currencies and why there’s no “clear case” for an e-franc in Switzerland. On Libra, Carsten says it is a “provocative proposition” but that it still needs to build a better case to convince the BIS.
Here’s what happened in blockchain in Switzerland this week. The Swiss Blockchain Federation celebrates its first anniversary; Sygnum gets the go-ahead in Singapore; and a new contender eyes the Swiss banking sector.
The Swiss Blockchain Federation is celebrating its first anniversary. The organization focuses on promoting Switzerland’s blockchain hub, which stretches from Ticino to Geneva. Its co-founders Mathias Ruch and Lorenz Furrer discuss Libra and express concern over a lack of funding for blockchain start-ups and self-promotion. “We have a lot of competitors all over the world,” says Furrer. “We have to fight for our position.”
SIX is pushing ahead with the 2020 rollout of its digital assets exchange, maintaining that it is “reasonably on track” with a team over 100 people. Thomas Zeeb, head securities and exchanges, discusses regulatory roadblocks, partnership with the Swiss National Bank, and why they’re eyeing assets like art and wine. He also predicts that it will be at least a decade before SIX looks into “decommissioning” its traditional exchange. “And in our world at the moment,” he says, “that’s a heck of a long time.”
Here’s what happened in blockchain in Switzerland this week. PostFinance and Energie Wasser Bern turn to blockchain to make electricity billing easier; Geneva trader MKS is behind a new gold-backed token; and 21 founding members sign the Libra charter in Geneva.
The United Nations Children’s Fund is the latest organization to accept crypto donations. The Swiss-based Ethereum Foundation made the first donation of 100 Ether and 1 Bitcoin. Christopher Fabian from UNICEF Innovation says the new crypto fund is targeting USD 25 million but admits philanthropy and blockchain is still a niche.
The Liechtenstein Blockchain Act will go into effect on January 1, 2020. Thomas Nägele, president of the Crypto Country Association and co-author of the act, expects up to 20 Swiss companies to relocate to Liechtenstein next year. “When it comes to legislation, we are ahead,” he says.