by Jamie Holmes
Compiled from contributions by Alexander Lielacher, Jamie Holmes, JP Buntinx, Nigel Dollentas and Nuno Menezes.
This week saw KPMG introduces their Digital Ledger Services Division which will aid startups to implement blockchain technology, while the US Congress was presented with a ‘blockchain bill’ to make the US regulatory landscape more favourable to innovation. Ripple’s CEO also stated this week that 2017 will be the year that banks start to market their Ripple-based services.
Ripple recently secured an additional $55 million from their latest funding round, as well adding several heavyweights in the banking sector to their network, giving Ripple a huge endorsement within the fintech space and an avenue for further consumer adoption. The funding round introduced new investors to Ripple which include Standard Chartered, Accenture Ventures, SCB Digital Ventures, Siam Commercial Bank, and SBI Holdings.
The MIT has created the Digital Currency Initiative (DCI), a group with a focus on cryptocurrency and the underlying technology, the blockchain. While the past year was for the institution to learn and develop an opinion on cryptocurrencies, the year ahead will see a multi-disciplinary effort to create practical solutions to some of the challenges facing the sector.
One interesting avenue of research that will be undertaken is an exploration of new ways of mining cryptocurrencies to ensure fairness and more open access to the system.
The launch of MGT Capital’s Bitcoin mining center will position McAfee’s company as one of the largest processors for the demands of the new, upcoming Blockchain technologies, whereby the company will redirect resources in the future to support other tasks on the Blockchain. Last week, the firm announced that phase one was achieved, with a larger than expected 2.6 PetaHash of processing power. At present, the facility is mining 90 bitcoin per month.
Auditing giant KPMG this week announced the launch of its Digital Ledger Services, a comprehensive array of services which will aid financial companies in realizing the potential of the blockchain technology. By providing faster and more secure transactions, and by streamlining and automating back-office operations, the company believes this new technology can help companies greatly reduce costs.
The bipartisan ‘blockchain bill’ was presented to the House of Representative on September 12, introduced by Republicans back in July 2016. Although the bill is non-binding, it represents the most significant measure to emerge from the US Congress on digital currencies and blockchain, and could set the stage for a more substantive, binding bill focussed on bitcoin and blockchain technology next year after the November presidential elections.
While we are slowly moving towards equality in the workplace in the Western world, it is perhaps somewhat surprising that in technology, the most innovative and forward-thinking industry, women are still severely underrepresented. However, as issues such as the gender pay gap and the glass ceiling are being heavily debated in both traditional and social media, more and more women are pushing boundaries and spearheading innovation in the technology sector. This development is starting to be referred to as ‘FemTech’.