Once in a year in late January, the economic and political leaders of the world meet in Swiss mountain village Davos to discuss the state of the world and connect with each other. This year the Blockchain was a big topic, with the launch of the Global Blockchain Business Council, an announcement to bring the oil trade on a blockchain and more.
BitFury Launches Global Blockchain Business Council with Surprisingly Strong Support from China
The BitFury Group is the Bitcoin company with most tight connections to politics, from the USA to China. Thus it is no surprise that the company attended the World Economic Forum (WEF). BitFury already announced in early January the launch of the Global Blockchain Business Council (GBBC) in Davos. In a press release the company described the Council as follows:
“The mission of the GBBC is to bring together the world’s leading businesses to educate on the latest innovations and advances in Blockchain technology and advocate for its global adoption. The GBBC aims to serve as a central resource center, providing a forum for information, collaboration and partnerships.”
This sounds relatively meaningless. But as it should be in Davos when the most influential people in the world shake hands, it is never about “what is done,” but about “who is doing it?” And the list of supporters BitFury found for the council is impressive.
When BitFury’s Jamie Smith, the former press officer of US President Obama, presented the launch of the GBBC at a private dinner in the Ameron Swiss Mountain Hotel Davos, an illustrious number of people has been present. For example; Carl Bildt, former Swedish Prime Minister, Hendrik Ilves, Former Estonian President and Co-Chair of the World Economic Forum’s Future Council on Blockchain, Patrick Byrne, Chief Executive Officer of Overstock, Uschi Schreiber, Global Vice Chair of Markets & Chair of Global Accounts for EY, Laurent Lamont, former Prime Minister of Haiti, Mariana Dahan, senior executive of the World Bank and Aivaras Abromvavicius, former Economy Minister of the Ukraine.
One of the speakers at the event was Don Tapscott, Author of “Blockchain Revolution.” Despite his book being accurately described as “nothing but a collection of arbitrary lists, allusions to things tangentially related to Blockchain technology, and opinions presented as fact,” Tapscott somehow managed to become the uber-expert for blockchain and also an attendee of the regular events of the WEF.
Even more surprising however was the active participation of Chinese entrepreneurs at the GBBC. Wei Wang, founding Chairman of China Mergers and Acquisitions Association (CMAA), Deng Di, head of the China Blockchain Delegation and Chairman of Tai Cloud Corporation, Ge Ming, Chief Supervisor of CMAA, Dr. Wang Yongli, former Vice President of Bank of China, Peng Yaojie, CEO of China Credit FinTech Holdings Limited, and other dozens of industry representatives and specialists.
Swiss Security firm WISeKey steps into the Blockchain Business with Cooperation with Lykke and Stratumm
WISeKey, a Swiss-based leading global cybersecurity firm, organized the fifth Annual Cybersecurity Roundtable as a side event to the World Economic Forum at the Steigenberger Grandhotel Belvédère. This year the topic of the roundtable was surprise surprise, “Blockchain & The Internet of Value.”
On the roundtable, WISeKey was joined by guests like Eugene Kaspersky, Founder and CEO of Kaspersky Lab, Fintech Investment expert David Fergusson, journalist and author Matthew Bishop, Chinese blockchain investor Wei Wang, Harvard Technology Professor Primavera De Filippi and others, among them the inevitable Don Tapscott.
WISeKey used the roundtable to announce the cooperation, with which the company makes a substantial head start into the Blockchain business: First, it announced a collaboration with Lykke, a Swiss developer of a wallet for cryptocurrencies and other blockchain assets, that integrates an exchange in its wallet system. Lykke will implement the WISeKey identity and security stack into its digital wallets and software, while WISeKey will offer a “WISeKey wallet by Lykke” to its customers.
Second, WISeKey announced a partnership with Stratumm SAS, inventor of Blockchain-based Proof of Process Technology. Stratumm develops so-called “trusted workflows” by establishing a common audit trail which is secured by blockchains. As a root key provider and a certificate authority, WISeKey will provide the identity layer in this workflows. The partnership aims to help the technology to enable industries of a large scope to use blockchain-technology.
Mercuria Introduces the Blockchain to Oil Trade with ING and Societe Generale
Maybe the most intriguing announcement at the WEF in Davos was made by Marco Dunand, CEO of trading house Mercuria. Dunand told press agency Reuters that his company is working with the European banks ING and Societe Generale on “the first large oil trade based on blockchain technology.”
The banks help to execute a deal in which an oil cargo with African crude is shipped to China to be sold to ChemChina. This already happens, and it is a process that is “archaic” according to Dunand.
Mercuria now aims to digitalize the trade procedure. Currently, the captain of the ship has to stamp a bill of lading to acknowledge the shipment. This paper later goes to customs, surveyors and other agents and officials. The blockchain, Dunand believes, will help to digitalize this process and eliminate a lot of paperwork.