KW 12: China has the most blockchain patents, IBM launches blockchain network in 72 countries, Renewables don’t make Bitcoin more sustainable


China has the most blockchain patents: China has taken the lead in the number of blockchain patents filed surpassing those filed in the United States of America, reports Hard Fork. Data pulled from the World Intellectual Property Organization’s websites has indicated that last year, despite a huge drop in crypto prices, blockchain patents were at their all-time high. As noted by Hard Fork, blockchain patents published in 2018 were in excess of 1000 while those published in 2017 stood at around 971. Despite its hard stance on digital currencies, China is leading the patents race with 790 approvals followed closely by the United States with 762 approvals. South Korea, Australia, Canada, India, U.K, Singapore and Japan were next in the line with 161, 136, 67,67, 36, 28, and 12 blockchain patents respectively.

IBM launches blockchain network in 72 countries: IBM is paving the way for banks and other regulated financial institutions to join the blockchain revolution. Rather than going through a series of intermediaries when sending money across borders, IBM has created a real-time, global payments network to support cross-border transactions and foreign exchange using digital assets, also known as cryptocurrencies or “stable coins.” IBM Blockchain World Wire has officially launched payment services in 72 countries with 47 currencies and 44 banking endpoints. Notably, IBM’s blockchain is reportedly the first such implementation to integrate payment messaging, clearing, and settlement while allowing participants to dynamically choose from a variety of digital assets for settlement.,

Renewables don’t make Bitcoin more sustainable: Renewable energy will not solve Bitcoin’s (BTC) sustainability problem according to a blockchain specialist at Big Four auditing company PwC, Alex de Vries. His report identifies a couple of key issues when it comes to how we think about measuring mining’s energy consumption. The first is that we don’t account for all the connected and related energy costs of bitcoin, such as bitcoin ATMs, as well as third parties like exchanges, wallets, and payment solution providers. Even comparing the standard energy cost of an electronic transaction by a bank versus a bitcoin transaction, standard banking techniques consume far less energy than bitcoin. De Vries quotes research published in 2014 that estimates that the energy consumption of the entire finance sector could be as high as 650 TWh of energy per year. Still, de Vries points out that this includes data centers, bank branches and ATMs. Bitcoin’s energy consumption estimate only considers mining and not Bitcoin ATMs and trusted third parties such as exchanges, wallet providers and payment service providers.,

Australia unveils national blockchain strategy: The Australian government has launched a national blockchain plan which it hopes will bolster its fintech sector. The strategy, which was announced by Australia’s minister for Industry, Science and Technology Karen Andrews, includes a roadmap outlining the various policy areas of focus such as regulation, skills, innovation, investment, collaboration and international competitiveness. it is also backed by A$100,000 in state funding. The first use for the capital will be to fund the attendance of a number of fintechs at the Austrade Consensus Mission in New York, which the government describes as a landmark event for the blockchain industry.

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Consumer association advises on the regulation of digital heritage: We leave behind a lot of data each day while using Facebook, YouTube and Co. What happens to this data shapes a large part of daily debates, but very few people worry about what should happen to their data after their own demise. However, this is precisely what Germany’s Verbraucherzentrale Bundesverband (vzbv) advises: Netizens should name a confidant as estate administrator during their lifetime, who will manage the data they leave behind after death.

Digitalization is hurting climate efforts: According to a study by the organization “The Shift Project”, the increasing use of digital services and the production of the necessary equipment are causing increased emissions of greenhouse gases. Digital transition, as it is implemented at present, results from a considerable expansion of the direct energy footprint of digital technologies, with an annual growth of from 9% to 10% according to the different hypotheses. In order to prevent climate chaos, the international climate agreement signed in Paris in December 2015 commits all the nations of the planet to abandoning fossil fuels as quickly as possible, as they are responsible for the greater part of anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions. In this context, the voracious energy consumption of digital systems and its current and potential interactions with climate policies raise many questions.


“Blockchain technology has the potential to influence our society and our co-existence just as strongly as the invention of letterpress printing did more than 500 years ago.”
The Hanseatic Blockchain Institute has set itself the goal of making Hamburg a major center of the European blockchain industry. Board member Moritz Schild sees immense potential for Blockchain to cause profound social changes.


Japan court sentences Mt Gox chief executive: Mark Karpeles, CEO of the defunct bitcoin exchange Mt Gox, has been found guilty of falsifying electronic records by a Japanese court and sentenced to two years and six months in prison. Still, Karpeles, the French national who presided over Mt. Gox’s rise to become the world’s largest Bitcoin exchange, will not serve additional time if he remains on good behavior. The verdict ended a more-than-five-year ordeal for Karpeles, who was found guilty on a charge of falsifying data but innocent of two additional charges of embezzlement and breach of trust. He was arrested in August 2015 and held for almost a year in detention, where he spent months under interrogation by prosecutors who upped the pressure by adding more charges against him.,

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