Are you aware of any live blockchain projects (beyond proof of concept) in your jurisdiction and if so in what areas?
The most prominent blockchain project came from the Bermuda Government in its conversion of its physical registry based on land claims substantiated by the physical holder of the deeds of land to an electronic format using blockchain technology to revitalise the island’s entire land registry system. As of the date of writing, the system is scheduled to go live in September 2018.
The Government of Bermuda also intends to use blockchain technology to enhance investor and consumer protections, anti-money laundering initiatives and know-your-customer requirements through its development of an electronic identification ledger (E-ID). The E-ID is a national ledger that will create a uniform platform for KYC/AML requirements in Bermuda accessible to both public and private institutions. Once in operation, the E-ID has potential to reduce duplication of efforts in relation to obtaining hard copies, ‘wet signatures’, supporting documents, background checks, and more. At the core of the E-ID is the individual’s ability to control third-party access to their information, creating a secure log of personal information and a more efficient way to conduct business in Bermuda.
Another crucial project in the blockchain space in Bermuda is in relation to the Insurance Regulatory Sandbox (Sandbox) – See Questions 6 and 18. The development of the Sandbox is encouraging the insurance industry to explore more blockchain-based technologies and develop progressive insurtech products.
There are various start-ups which are deploying blockchain-based projects in Bermuda. This includes projects being developed in the telecommunications sector.
There are numerous live blockchain projects, either developed by Cayman companies or financed by ICOs using Cayman Islands issuers, in a variety of difference areas including preventing counterfeit products (Wabi), blockchain software architecture (EOS) and cryptocurrency exchanges (cobinhood).
We are aware of other numerous projects which are not able to comment on publicly at this time.
Yes, we are aware of the following projects:
- The BARAC Research Project: The Blockchain Technology for Algorithmic Regulation and Compliance Project was introduced in April 2017 by Cyprus Blockchain Technologies Limited, a non-profit educational organisation established by academic and financial institutions, local regulators and other technology companies to provide feasibility guidelines to policy makers, industry and regulators by identifying problems and associated solutions through case studies and proof of concept platforms.
- UNIC Blockchain Initiative: In addition UNIC has initiated a number of blockchain projects in Cyprus through its Blockchain Initiative programme.
- API Banking: Please refer to our responses above on the API Banking services currently offered by leading Cypriot credit institutions.
We are aware of other numerous projects which are not able to comment on publicly at this time.
We are aware of several live blockchain projects in Denmark.
Amongst these and worth mentioning are Aryze and MakerDAO who oper-ates within the field of stable coins. The last-mentioned project is solely based on blockchain technology and is thus - as the only stable coin project in the world - autonomous and decentral.
Besides, Danish based global company Maersk has developed blockchain based projects to facilitate shipping services.
Already several blockchain projects are live and more are being developed in Finland.
Many of the blockchain projects are linked to logistics and supply chains, financial industry and process industry, and are often executed in cooperation. For example, certain Finnish banks and Tomorrow Labs have built a digital trading platform for the residential real estate market.
Another interesting example of using blockchain in financial services is a digital money system based on blockhain, developed by the Finnish startup MONI in cooperation with the Finnish Immigration Service.
One example of a blockchain project is also Pigeon, a blockchain platform that is aimed to provide faster and more transparent tracking and processing of royalties for publishers and music authors. It is developed by the Finnish Composers' Copyright Society Teosto and a Finnish blockchain startup Chainfrog.
In addition to actual blockchain projects, there are also many fintechs and other companies that utilise blockchain at back end solutions, i.e. the business model is not based on innovative use of blockchain.
In terms of bitcoin, Finnish crypto exchanges Prasos and LocalBitcoins have been operating in the market for years and the first bitcoin ATM in Europe was opened in Finland already in 2013.
There are no live blockchain projects in France to our knowledge.
There are many small projects in Germany using the blockchain technology. An interesting project is the establishment of a Clearing service by the German Bourse (Deutsche Börse) based on the blockchain technology.
The GFSC has received approximately 40 applications for authorisation under the DLT Regulations. The GFSC has issued Covesting, a crypto trading platform, and Coinfloor, a bitcoin exchange, with the first DLT licenses allowing them to operate as fully regulated financial services entities. Five other applicants, including eToro and TokenMarket, have been granted in-principle licences and we expect these firms to receive their full licences in the coming months. Once these seven applicants are authorised, there will be a number of live blockchain projects which will include crypto-exchanges, cryptocurrency wallet providers and custodian service providers.
One of the live blockchain projects running by the Government of Malta is the use of DLT technology to issue education certificates. This is one of many initiatives which the Government of Malta has embarked on as part of its mission to establish Malta as a global capital of blockchain expertise.
As expected from the “Start-Up Nation”, also in the Blockchain Industry Israel is one of leading hubs with hundreds of different blockchain companies operating in its eco-system. The main live blockchain projects in Israel are in the areas of Decentralized Medium of Exchange (MoE) Platforms, Decentralized Exchange/Liquidity Providers and Privacy focused Smart-Contract Networks.
There are several projects that handle data generated on blockchain in various areas, such as securities dealing, international money transfer, asset management, trading business, etc. Please note, however, that most of these blockchain projects don't advance beyond being a concept and remain at the stage of demonstrative experiments. If such projects were to issue digital tokens generated on a blockchain and then exchangeable with other tokens such as Bitcoin, Ether or the likes, then such tokens would have likely been deemed Virtual Currency. In such case, the exchange of such tokens with consideration would have likely been deemed a Virtual Currency Exchange Service. Due to the regulatory uncertainty, our view is that most blockchain projects will not go beyond the demonstration experiments stage.
The main existing projects in Mexico based on blockchain technology are those related to cryptocurrencies, an example of this is Bitso, a digital exchange platform that provides security and allows users to buy and sell cryptocurrencies among themselves with a Mexican bank.
Although there are no governmental public projects, there are several groups focused on the promotion of the benefits of the blockchain technology with the purpose of modernising financial transactions, reducing costs and eliminating AML issues in public contracts. Among some of the proposals, it is the implementation of the blockchain technology in public bids, public offers, and banking operations. There are other projects to incorporate companies to mine crypto currencies in Mexico.
British Virgin Islands
We are aware of several ongoing blockchain projects structured through BVI vehicles. However, as far as we are aware, Shopin is the only project that is beyond proof of concept, has ended its token generation event and has had successful pilot trials. Two retail pilots showed phenomenal success with registrations at 719k, increase in conversions at 22% and incremental sales generated at $14.7MM. Shopin is the world's first decentralized shopper profile built on the blockchain. Shopin unites retailers and their customers through personalized data intelligence for an unprecedented shopping experience. Shopin intends to create a more sustainable retail economy where retailers become stronger by working together and shoppers get rewarded based on the value of their data that they fully own, control, and can share. For more information, please see: https://tokensale.shopin.com/
SSEK: There are several live blockchain projects in Indonesia, includuing data marketplace and data exchanges. Cryptocurrency exchanges seem to be the most common of the live blockchain projects here.
No, not that we are aware of. However please note that due to the early-stages and lack of a defined regulatory framework resulting from the PSD2 not being transposed, many initiatives and businesses are currently in seed phase and subject to confidentiality terms and thus we envisage that once the legal and regulatory framework is defined, new projects will be disclosed to the market.
There are numerous active blockchain projects in the US. Two of the most notable are Walmart and Maersk. Walmart has a blockchain-enabled food traceability platform, and recently required all leafy green suppliers to Walmart to participate in its traceability blockchain. Maersk has a live blockchain for container identification and one for trade finance, although the latter is currently available only to early adopters. Other blockchain solutions have gone live, from lending platforms to artificial intelligence to digital pets.
We are aware of live blockchain projects in various sectors of the UAE and both on mainland of the UAE and in Financial Free Zones.
In the financial sector, Emirates NBD, a major bank in the UAE, recently launched the “Cheque Chain” which integrates blockchain into issued cheques to strengthen authenticity and minimize potential fraud. It registered close to one million cheques using blockchain during the first month of its launch.
Additionally, Smart Dubai recently integrated blockchain technology into its online payment portal, DubaiPay, to allow reconciliation and settlement transactions to be performed in real time. There are also live blockchain projects in other sectors. For instance, in the educational sector, Educhain enables the instant issuance and authentication of digital records for institutions, corporates, and governments. It is working with top institutions and employers from Mena, Europe and North America, encompassing 400,000 students and professionals.
Additionally, the Dubai Land Department launched blockchain technology to automate and optimize end-to-end real-estate business processes. It employs blockchain in three initiatives: ownership verification in its mobile application, property sale by developer and smart leasing process. It placed existing title deeds onto a blockchain ownership platform, through which it secures more than 500,000 title deeds and 1.5 million smart contract records that connect investors/owners to the property.
Ukraine belongs to the leading countries with respect to implementation of blockchain projects, in particular in the public sector. At the present moment the public auction for the sale of seized property and the national land cadaster operate based on the technology of the blockchain. The public register of immovable property will be re-programmed to the blockchain in the near future.
There are a number of live blockchain projects; the majority is in the financial sector, namely in the token based economy. A number of crypto currencies was issued from Switzerland. Furthermore several utility tokens. In addition, the food and pharmaceutical industry are applying blockchain technology to monitor shipping.
Numerous innovative blockchain startups are present in India such as Elemential, which is a blockchain middleware that is sector agnostic and are being used to create a KYC utility by National Stock Exchange (NSE), enable instant allotment for asset registries, manage royalty payments for media licenses. Sofocle is another company that designs and develops blockchain powered enterprise solutions for Smart Contracts, Supply chain, Finance, Insurance, Healthcare, and Manufacturing. EzyRemit is a startup that enables blockchain powered solutions to the remittance market and StaTwig is a company that is leveraging Internet of Things (IoT) and blockchain to provide real-time tamper-proof end-to-end tracking that identifies problems and inefficiencies in the supply chain industry. Further, IBM has introduced an invoice management blockchain solution for manufacturing companies to enable their Goods and Sales Tax (GST) compliance. Recently, HSBC India has also executed a trade finance transaction involving an export shipment sent by Indian company Reliance Industries Limited to a US buyer.
While Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) cannot always be equated to blockchain, India’s telecom regulator (Telecom Regulatory Authority of India) has also issued regulations recently which mandate the use of DLT by telecom companies to restrict the flow of unsolicited commercial communication to Indian telecom consumers.
There have not yet been many live uses of blockchain post-POC, but a number of successful
proofs of concept have been completed across a wide range of industries over the last year, including medical records, energy, media rights, and even meat production. One of the most high-profile live uses of blockchain in a non-test environment is Santander’s partnership with blockchain-based payments company Ripple to provide a global payments solution called One Pay FX.
We are not aware of any live blockchain projects beyond proof of concept. That said, many Dutch banks are currently investing in multiple blockchain projects and are exploring the impact of blockchain on their core processes, products and services, from mortgages and risk models to cross-border payments. Even DNB has experimented with the potentials of blockchain with regards to payments. According to a recent release, DNB concluded that blockchain is currently not suitable for the existing financial payment infrastructure due to its insufficient ability to scale for large volumes of transactions and other issues. DNB also indicated that blockchain is still very interesting and promising and future algorithms may well offer improved compliance with financial market infrastructures requirements.
Yes, we have live blockchain projects applied in many areas. The areas that use blockchain includes the Internet of Things, the company registration administration by the corporate registration authorities, the supply chain management, stock transaction records and registration, banking operation (transaction record and registration, credit information management, electronic drafts, transaction settlement and etc).
In Taiwan, in addition to the cryptocurrency and fintech sectors, blockchain technologies are currently used in the healthcare and food manufacture sectors in more developed forms beyond proof of concept.
For example, a hospital in Taiwan launched a medical record system 'phrOS' using smart contract and blockchain technology in 2017, which allows patients to access and manage his/her own medical records, and authorise access to other medical professionals such as local clinic doctors. Similarly, a medical record management platform 'HealthPass' was launched in 2018. HealthPass allows users to upload medical information directly or through third parties. This platform aims to allow more control of medical records and information by patients, thus creating a patient-centred healthcare eco-system.
Blockchain technology is also used by food companies in relation to food traceability in Taiwan. 'OwlChain' is a food provenance system launched in 2017. It allows food manufacturers and farmers to disclose food origin information and aims to prevent fraudulence through blockchain technology.
Based on the types of projects found, there is an interesting correlation between Islam and Malaysia’s unique blockchain projects. Malaysia has always been one of the spearheaders of Islamic anything, from setting the standard to the international halal industry to pushing Islamic finance.
In particular, there has been vast interest from locals in utilising blockchain to streamline the process of helping the needy, like with alms and even refugee citizenship, though the last does not quite fall under the purvey of ‘Islamic’.
Malaysia does not have a reputation for blockchain within the global sphere, but what we may lack in advancement, we seem to be making up for in uniqueness—in particular, Islamic blockchain. Blockchain projects are upcoming in Malaysia, and some of these projects are already established with goals set to be achieved. A few of these projects will be listed below:
I. Syariah-Compliant Blockhain
A Malaysian government committee has just partnered up with South Korean blockchain lab IncuBlock to work on developing blockchain permissible under Syariah Law.
A memorandum of understanding has been signed between both parties to develop a platform for decentralised applications that would both meet what the team characterises as social requirements, while still being permissible under the Syariah Commission.
Similarly to the development of Islamic finance in Malaysia, upon the project’s public launch it will be interesting to observe if this blockchain will manage to gain traction outside of the usual Islamic finance circles, and what exactly a Syariah-compliant blockchain would entail.
II. NEM Blockchain Centre
NEM is primarily known as an altcoin (cryptocurrency that is alternative to the digital currency Bitcoin), like Ethereum or Dogecoin, but more than that it is also currently a huge advocate of blockchain development in Malaysia.
This is notable in the Malaysian context because NEM’s headquarters and biggest office in the ASEAN region is housed in Malaysia. The NEM Blockchain centre in part, invites software developers, business users, startups, exchanges and the Blockchain community to test and develop use cases for the NEM Blockchain.
Often, those interested in working on blockchain will park their technology onto the Ethereum network, or develop their own. NEM’s presence in Southeast Asia allows programmers to develop their project within NEM’s network instead which is less cluttered by international projects, at least for now.
III. The Malaysian Securities Commission’s project enabling them to Keep Tabs on Over-the-counter Markets Via Blockchain
A Securities Commission pilot project looks at utilising the Malaysian company Neuroware’s Cortex technology, a blockchain agnostic service that is able to work across different hosts of distributed ledger technologies without being tied to a specific ledger, will be utilised for the over-the-counter (OTC) markets.
OTC usually refers to companies that do not meet the listing requirements set by the Securities Commission, or also known as unlisted stocks and traditionally traded by brokers.
The regulator’s goal is for all transactions and market activities to be recorded and made available to all market participants, while transaction confidentiality is maintained.
Upon completion of this pilot project, the findings will be published as an industry blueprint.