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blockchain passports

Blockchain passports to be used in Dubai

A new project related to blockchain passports is being developed by the Dubai government and the English startup called ObjectTech with the main objective of improving security for the Emirate’s airport.

A few days ago, ObjectTech announced that it is working together with the Dubai Immigration and Visas Department to create blockchain passports to potentially eliminate manual checks at Dubai International airport.

This system exploits biometric verification and blockchain technology in order and it will use a “pre-approved and entirely digitized passport” in order to easily and safely authorize travelers’ entrance into the Emirates.

Also, thanks to blockchain passports, people will be identified through a 3D scan via a short tunnel while they walk from the aircraft to claim their baggage.

Thanks to the use of a distributed ledger technology (it’s still unclear what blockchain will be used), ObjectTech explained that passports will contain a feature called self-sovereign identity for privacy protection, which it allows travelers to control which parties can view their info.

Co-founder and CEO of ObjectTech, Paul Ferris, wrote a blog post where he explains that the company aims at making the border process quicker and safer, and also giving passengers full control of their digital data. A pilot program is anticipated to be ready by 2020, although a detailed project timeline remains unclear.

A pilot program will be ready by 2020. 

Dubai is not new to this kind of projects. A few months ago, in fact, Dubai government revealed its idea to solve immigration issues with the blockchain.

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Amelia Tomasicchio

Dubai Blockchain to solve Immigration issues

Dubai Blockchain will try to solve  immigration issues, developing a system for cutting illegal residency within the country.

To do so, Dubai immigration agency is looking for a blockchain startup to collaborate for this project.

The Dubai Future Accelerator and the General Directorate of Residency and Foreign Affairs published a call for blockchain startups to develop the immigration platform.

This way, the immigration agency hopes to reduce illegal resident entry by 50% using the distributed ledger, according to a press release published a few days ago on December 22nd.

Other public institutions in Dubai want to use the blockchain technology as part of their accelerator program and there are a few opened calls about blockchain’s publicized use cases.

For example, the Department of Economic Development is looking for using automated systems to cut governmental red tape by 20%, reducing time for receiving, renewing and modifying trade licenses.

Also, the Dubai Health Authority is working to improve patient self-management of health data, as explained during a recent Distributed Health event.

Dubai Blockchain for a better future

The Dubai Future Accelerator will take no equity from startups that participate. Also, it provides flights, accommodation and office space for a program of 9 weeks where selected companies will be able to test prototypes with the major Dubai companies and government institutions.

Saif Al-Aleeli, CEO of the Dubai Future Foundation, explained in the press release:

“By bringing innovative global startups together with government entities in Dubai, the program offers them the potential to materialize their ideas and projects in a forward-thinking city, and play their part in building a better future today,” 

To read more about Dubai Blockchain project, click here.

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Amelia Tomasicchio

Dubai Government to develop Blockchain applications

dubai_blockchain
Dubai government announced a $275m startup investment fund to invest and develop blockchain projects.
Revealed a few days ago, the Dubai Future Foundation launched the Dubai Future Accelerators project, a 12-week startup program that aims at encouraging innovation, including the blockchain. 
Thanks also to a partnership with the Dubai Holding, this program wants to promote the development of business ideas related to transportation, law, education and public utilities.
The project accepts ideas from companies; and the approved applicants will spend three months developing projects that are eligible for further funding.
Spokerpersons explained that applications have to include efforts to improve smart meters, smart cities and business process, by using the blockchain.
This project came after the Dubai Future Foundation decision to promote the distributed ledger development. 
The foundation, in fact, is one of the most active agencies to study blockchain technology, also thanks to the Global Blockchain Council (GBC) overseen by its Museum of the Future project.
Earlier, the GBC revelated seven projects created by prominent area businesses and startups.

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Satoshi
ibm blockchain oil

IBM Blockchain Oil trade platform: a new innovative project

IBM – together with a group of other companies – has announced the development of a new blockchain-based crude oil trade finance platform.

This group also includes Trafigura and Natixis bank that decided to join the creation of this new tool.

The platform was created by using code from the Linux Foundation-led Hyperledger project. Also, IBM’s BlueMix cloud hosting service is utilized.

Thanks to this trade finance platform, users can view transaction data on the blockchain that also hosts documentation and updates on shipments, deliveries and payments.

Natixis is also a member of the R3 distributed ledger consortium and isn’t new to blockchain-related trade finance applications because it also joined the “Digital Trade Chain” project a few months ago.

According to, Natixis’ head of global energy and commodities, Arnaud Stevens, the bank believes the technolgy as a high potential of bringing down expense and boosting procedural transparency.

These are his words:

“We want to use blockchain to optimize the antiquated arena of commodity trade finance. The current process is paper and labor intensive, we have multiple friction points with high processing costs and limited automation. Distributed ledger technology brings some much-needed innovation into our industry.”

This news is only the latest related to projects that aims at bridging of the blockchain and trade finance worlds.

Also, we have to say that this is an application that attracted much interest from a wide range of companies and governments worldwide, including Dubai.

In the meantime there are also several other worldwide banks that are continuing to push ahead with related projects focused on the blockchain and commodities trade.

A few days ago, in fact, Dutch bank ING is working on an oil trading pilot built on the Ethereum blockchain that has already conducted live transactions.

 

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Amelia Tomasicchio

Real Estate Blockchain: houses on the ledger

The real estate blockchain is one of the most imporant use case for the distributed ledger as it is a secure and efficient data management system that enable buyers to rely on a live network.

The California-based Blockchain startup called Propy aims at simplifying real estate sales for investors and brokers by using the ledger.

At the moment Propy is available in Dubai, New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Miami and Moscow, so users can buy and rent houses creating a connection with the real estate broker on a blockchain platform.

Ethereum network

Propy exploits the Ethereum network, the blockchain network based on smart contract development.

Using Ethereum Propy can replicate the traditional process of real estate transactions by using a safer ledger.

The development team of Propy spent lots of time and effort in designing a smart contract project to be applied on this business.

Real estate Blockchain: how to use smart contract

Propy’s Andrey Zamovsky explained that the world lacks of “proper and robust electronic property registry”.

Some countries that have a digitalized registry to delete data manipulation issues, so Zamovsky said that a blockchain-based platform can be a very useful tool to eliminate corruption. Also, the lack of sophisticated and secure ledger makes the verification process more difficult for brokers.

To avoid this potential issues on data mismanagement, government agencies often take a few weeks to verify ownership transfers, but this is inefficient and expensive method for customers.

Zamovsky explained:

“A lot of developing countries still don’t have any kind of electronic property registry or have very inefficient ones – vulnerable to corruption, physical damage, hack attacks and fraud. The Blockchain database is replicated on thousands of servers worldwide, so it will be close to impossible to lose registry data.”

To read more about real estate blockchain, click here.

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Amelia Tomasicchio
blockchain voting

World Economic Forum Blockchain led by Estonia

The World Economic Forum Blockchain created a new working group focused on the distributed ledger with the Estonian President.

This so-called “Global Futures Council on Blockchain Technology” will be met for the first time during an event held in Dubai  later this week. According to the World Economic Forum Blockchain the group will be focused on the development of governance models related to the distributed ledger.

Toomas Hendrik Ilves, president of Estonia for 10 years, will co-chair together with Jamie Smith, chief communications and marketing officer for bitcoin mining and blockchain services firm BitFury and a former official in the Obama White House.

Members of the group are: Ma Jun (chief economist for the People’s Bank of China’s research outfit) and Claire Sunderland Hay (head of the Bank of England’s fintech startup accelerator).

The group also include representatives from bitcoin-related startups such as BitPesa, Everledger, Ripple and Chain; and institutions such as Barclay’s and Deutsche Bank.

Here you can read the full list of the “World Economic Forum Blockchain” members.

“The distributed ledger or blockchain system of preserving data integrity and security is one of the most promising new technologies to emerge in the past decade. Its full potential is only now beginning to be realized. This Council will play a leading role exploring how blockchain can be used to improve security on the internet.”

The WEF counducted an internal research about the blockchain since 2015 and this new working group is part of a broader network of Global Agenda Councils, focused on problems such as climate change, AI and cybersecurity.

<img src="/images/worldeconomicforumblockchain.jpg" alt="World Economic Forum Blockchain " height="264" width="350" />

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Amelia Tomasicchio