KW 43: Alibaba expands Blockchain-as-a-Service to Europe, Bitcoin ATM at the Brandenburg Gate, China wants to stop anonymous blockchain use



Alibaba expands Blockchain-as-a-Service to Europe
Alibaba Cloud, the cloud division of Jack Ma´s famous Alibaba Group, has announced the expansion of their blockchain-as-a-service (BaaS) platform to the American, European, and South East Asian markets. The company´s BaaS platform will support blockchain applications catered to enterprises and based on the Ant Blockchain and Hyperledger Fabric. These include, for example, monitoring, operating, and maintenance applications, blockchain consortium management, user and certificate management, automatic deployment, SDK applications, and smart contracts. Yi Li, senior staff engineer and lead at Alibaba Cloud Blockchain Service, commented on the recent expansion of Alibaba Cloud’s BaaS to global markets, claiming that the company aims to assist international companies in acceleraiing their digital transformation via blockchain.,

Bitcoin ATM at the Brandenburg Gate
The German crypto startup Bitwala set up a Bitcoin ATM at the Brandenburg Gate on October 24th to educate passersby on the subject of cryptocurrencies and to sensitize them to the issue of regulation. The ATM, however, was covered up with an out-of-order sign. The devices are not allowed to be operated in Germany due to relatively strict regulations by the Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin). The situation is different in neighboring countries such as Austria, the Netherlands, Poland, the Czech Republic and many others where such Bitcoin ATMs are already widely in use. Bitwala CFO Christoph Iwaniez said: „I would like Bitcoin not to be classified as a financial instrument, but as a means of payment.“ He was very pleased, however, with the keen interest and consistently positive reactions of passersby in Berlin.

China wants to stop anonymous blockchain use
According to a report by the „South China Morning Post“, China’s central government has drafted a new regulation that would strip blockchains of their anonymity, requiring users to provide their real names and national ID card numbers when registering for a blockchain service. Trading Bitcoin is already banned in the country, but the policy will place significant restrictions on ongoing blockchain development. On Friday, the Cyberspace Administration of China, the country’s internet regulator, released a draft of the policy, which would also require blockchain services to remove “illegal information” quickly before it spreads among users. The services will also be required to retain backups of user data for six months and provide them to law enforcement whenever necessary.

Vienna to put food vouchers on the blockchain
Following a first test run, Vienna now wants to digitize the food vouchers for the city’s approximately 20,000 employees. So far, the vouchers are issued in paper form and can be redeemed at around 800 contracted restaurants. In cooperation with the consulting agency EY, the food vouchers will soon be put on a private blockchain and redeemed via smartphone. The city administration wants to use the blockchain to make food service processes and billing faster and more efficient. „With this project we show what food brands can look like in the digital age. The city of Vienna is a pioneer in the use of blockchain technology and is taking a major step forward in our initiative to make the city and its administration ’smarter'“, said Ulrike Huemer, CIO of the city of Vienna.

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According to data collated by job portal Glassdoor, traditional companies have ramped up hiring for blockchain and blockchain associated jobs. 1,775 openings in the US alone, which is a 300 percent increase compared to 2017.


There are exciting applications in the marketplace that demonstrate the benefits that the technology offers to supply chains. But the blockchain is not a cure-all. The return is not yet measurable and business models and processes have yet to be created for implementation.
Martin Arnoldy of Capgemini in Germany warns against excessive optimism in the implementation of blockchain systems.


Canadian startup puts marijuana on blockchain
The Canadian company DMG wants to use the legalization of cannabis and marijuana in Canada and create a network of various companies in the industry. In tandem with the regulatory action, Vancouver-based DMG Blockchain Solutions Inc. issued a press release to reveal that it had commenced development on a blockchain-centric supply chain management system for the cannabis industry. Per the release, DMG, which is advised by Litecoin creator Charlie Lee, explained that it is currently in active discussions with key participants in this budding industry, which has been likened to the crypto market on multiple occasions.


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