Blockchain

 Samsung Eyes Blockchain Smartphone?

Samsung filings in Europe hint at a new shot across the blockchain smartphone bow.  Elsewhere, distributed ledger technology is being used to underpin commodities transactions, even while being viewed as a systemic risk by some financial industry participants nonetheless signing on to their own blockchain initiatives.

In the world of blockchain phones, another name may crowd the pantheon.

Said sites including thenextweb.com, Samsung, no small player in mobile devices, submitted three trademark requests in Europe that offer up some clues into blockchain-focused phones.

The site reported that the trademarks (and to be sure, they are not patents) are named “Blockchain KeyStore” and “Blockchain Core” and “Blockchain Key Box.” They tie in to public key storage offerings, and the tech giant has said that the offerings apply to smartphones and software  The site maintained that the trademarks may be tied to offering storage for cryptocurrencies.

Separately, blockchain seemed to be on the minds of at least some financial services industry participants as the Depository Trust and Clearing Corporation (DTCC) said this week that — per its annual Systemic Risk Barometer survey, and as reported by Forbes — blockchain offers up “a potential threat” to the existing financial infrastructure that is in place around the globe. The DTCC, it should be noted, is in the midst of prepping its own blockchain solution. Forbes noted that the DTCC is “expected to replatform” its $11 trillion Trade Information Warehouse so that it will use the permissioned Axcore blockchain.

Roughly a fifth of those queried by the DTCC stated that FinTech as a general category poses at least some systemic risk next year, which is up 5 percent from last year.

As related by Forbes, and as stated by Stephen Scharf, the DTCC’s chief security officer via a statement, “DTCC embraces the promise that fintech innovations hold to further mitigate risk and reduce post-trade costs. But as the industry continues to adopt fintech innovations, like blockchain, AI and cloud solutions, we must ensure that those innovations do not jeopardize the safety and security of the current global financial marketplace.”

In reference to blockchain being used in financial transactions, the state-owned Russian bank known as Sberbank said at the end of last week that it completed a transaction known as a repo, short for repurchase agreement, with blockchain tech. The bank said that fellow participants in the transaction included Region Brokerage Company and the Russian National Settlement Depository (NSD). The transaction featured a “smart contract” and during that transaction done on a trial basis, and done in rubles, Sberbank acted as the seller, Region as the buyer and the NSD as agent.

In a release heralding the transaction, Alina Akchurina, managing director for collateral management systems at the NSD, said that “integrating the NSD’s CMS into distributed blockchain networks is part of our development strategy. Using blockchain to service repo deals is one of the few examples that justify the use of this technology … During this pilot deal, the NSD not only acted as the settlement depository, but also provided collateral management services to its participants, and supplied the market data used for the settlement of the smart contract.”

News also came this week that IBM is linking with the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company, also known as ABNOC, in a joint effort that will create a supply chain system that is underpinned by blockchain. The value of the transaction was not disclosed, reported Coindesk last week.

Coinannounce reported that the oil company has an output of three million barrels daily, and per the site, the joint effort is in its pilot stage. The blockchain is being used into track the flow of oil and gas and to track the transactions tied to those transactions. Those transactions are occurring between ADNOC companies, in an effort that is aimed at boosting delivery efficiencies.

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