As South Korean lawmakers discuss regulations and guidelines for the cryptocurrency sector, a group of domestic blockchain experts will establish a new society to study the legal aspects concerning the decentralized technology.
Dubbed the ‘Blockchain Law Society’, the new organization will officially launch this Friday, August 24, according to a report from local publication Yonhap. The collective will see a group of blockchain experts vying to propel studies on the legal aspects surrounding blockchain technology and promote it for various applications in a number of sectors.
“Blockchain Law Society was founded not only to study blockchain technology from a legal aspect but to promote interdisciplinary collaborations between diverse areas, such as economics, computer engineering (and) field business,” the working group said in an announcement this week.
The organization added it would invite experts from numerous areas beyond the technology sector including prosecutors, judges, professors and other industry experts to carry out academic and legal studies of the technology as well as proposing legislation for regulating the crypto and blockchain sector domestically.
The new collaborative society comes to the fore at a time when South Korea’s government announced a 1 trillion won budget ($918 million) for a big push in developing big data, AI and blockchain technology in 2019.
South Korea’s Ministry of Science and ICT is also promoting blockchain education within Korea’s youth, proactively encouraging and training young graduates and students to understand the decentralized technology.
Earlier this month, the Financial Supervisory Service (FSS) – the country’s financial watchdog – threw its support in backing blockchain technology to fundamentally power stock trading without a centralized ledger. Korea’s shipping industry has also held a successful 7-month pilot of imports and exports from Korean shipping ports on a blockchain developed by Samsung SDS, the IT subsidiary of electronics giant Samsung.
Top 3 Japanese Bank to Roll Out Services on Marco Polo Blockchain
Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation (SMBC), Japan’s third-largest bank by total assets, will launch blockchain-based trade finance services in the second half of this year.
SMBC’s vice chairman Yasuyuki Kawasaki announced the news at a recent fintech seminar in Tokyo, saying that the bank will roll out new services for import and export companies using the Marco Polo trade finance blockchain platform, CoinDesk Japan reported Thursday.
Kawasaki said that, traditionally, trade finance is a “very complicated,” paper-based and time-consuming process. SMBC completed a proof-of-concept using the blockchain platform back in February, aiming to improve its trade operations. It said at the time that the platform “provides paperless, real-time connectivity and easier access.”
The Marco Polo network – built on blockchain software startup R3’s Corda platform – saw its first real-world transactions going live last month. The network was founded by R3 and trade finance specialist TradeIX.
The transactions took place between two German companies. One transaction involved the delivery of special hydraulic couplings from Germany to China and the other the delivery of pumps within Germany.
Since launching in 2017, the Marco Polo network has added some major financial institutions as members, including ING, BNP Paribas and Commerzbank, among others.
Announced this morning, BayernLB, Helaba and S-Servicepartner have also joined the Marco Polo network “for piloting and evaluating purposes.”
Daniel Cotti, managing director, Centre of Excellence for Banking and Trade for Marco Polo, said:
“Today, we have the resources and technology to transform the way banks serve their trade finance customers and enable easier access to credit, while minimizing risk and increasing transparency.”
Trade finance is increasingly being eyed as a beneficial use case for blockchain technology. Last July, another trade finance blockchain platform called– built on Hyperledger Fabric and with nine banks on board – went live.
Just yesterday, China’s forex regulator and manager, the State Administration of Foreign Exchange (SAFE), said that it has developed a blockchain system aimed to address inefficiencies in cross-border trade finance. Pilots in three regions and two cities are now
Naturipe farms uses blockchain to track blueberries from harvest to table
Naturipe Farm, in collaboration with tech company SAP Cloud Platform Blockchain service, will use blockchain to track Naturipe’s blueberries all the way from the point of harvesting to your dining table.
Carol McMillan, director of information technology at Naturipe Farms explained that the crates with berries are weighed, scanned and then sent to cold storage.
‘Moments after our produce is picked, the growers now place QR codes onto these crates. That QR code stays on those berries all the way to the store. Soon, by simply scanning the QR code with our smartphones, we’ll see proof of where the berries were grown and learn about the farm’s sustainability practices.’
With SAP’s blockchain technology, consumers and customers will have the possibility to easily access the complete origin and history of Naturipe Farms produce, simply by using their smartphones to scan a QR code on the product package.
‘Blockchain helps SAP customers track and trace goods across their entire supply chain by using SAP’s cloud platform blockchain services’, said Eric Somitsch, senior director of SAP Agribusiness.
‘Suppliers must use a provided code to enter their information into the blockchain. SAP’s blockchain captures that data and protects it with the world’s most stringent encryption security protocols.’
At present, most fruit is traced manually, using hand-written paperwork that accompanies the shipments.
‘Just in that process alone, there can be delays of up to four hours for an air shipment, up to two days for a boat shipment for a product to get cleared and go through customs’, Naturipe’s IT Director Carol McMillan added.
— Jan Musil (@janmusil) April 12, 2019
In the future, blockchain data can be used to make better decisions relating to production itself, she said.
‘Freshness is imperative to keep people healthy. We can use all the data input from weather patterns and harvest data to eventually better forecast the future.’
McMillan pointed out that currently, food supply chain stakeholders record their own product information and share only if necessary.
‘The goal with our new blockchain technology is to help create a system with higher trust and transparency that ultimately simplifies operations and reduces food waste’, she said.
‘By pioneering this technology with SAP, we are hoping to lead a movement in the produce industry that minimizes waste and promotes transparent sustainability practices.’
Blockchain art platform raises $2 million from Facebook, Coinbase, and more
A new digital art marketplace will make use of blockchain technology to ensure creators’ ownership. MakersPlace has just completed a seed funding round for $2 million (as reported byTechCrunch).
Uncork Capital has led the seed round, with investment also coming from Pinterest, Facebook, Coinbase and more. MakersPlace allows artists with limited knowledge of blockchain tech to easily fingerprint their works. They just need to provide photo ID, and an ERC-20 token will be generated for each work that they put on to the platform.
According to MakersPlace co-founder Dannie Chu, “millions of digital creators…are spending countless hours creating digital artwork, but they struggle with basic things like attribution…If you can’t create a sustainable model for digital creators to create, you’re not going to have art…People are actually valuing digital creations like physical creations”.
The work that is offered on the MakersPlace platform includes animation, photography, drawings, pixel art and 3D creations. They can be bought using regular payment methods as well as Ethereum (ETH), and MakersPlace takes a 15 percent cut of sales, similar to the model offered by hobbyist marketplace Etsy.