Insurance industry blockchain group B3i, which is now building DLT solutions for some 40 member firms, has appointed John Carolin as chief executive officer.
Carolin, who joined B3i as chief financial officer in March 2018, had served as interim CEO since March of this year.
B3i began life back in October 2016 as a blockchain consortium and later became an independent company owned by 17 insurance and reinsurance industry big hitters like Allianz, Munich Re, Swiss Re, Tokio Marine, XL Catlin and Zurich.
The company added $16 million to its coffers back in March 2019, after suggestions it was trying to raise as much as $200 million, according to some reports.
Last month B3i, which aims to use distributed ledgers to streamline back-office processes and claims handling, held a hackathon to let industry members test its platform.
Speaking about the B3i hackathon, Carolin said:
“Our team of subject matter experts is highly motivated, especially following the very positive feedback received last month at our Hackathon to test the initial product.”
Last year, B3i decided to switch from Hyperledger Fabric to R3’s Corda platform. The move was followed soon after by another blockchain insurance consortium, RiskBlock, also moving to Corda.
“I look forward to leading the B3i team as we execute on a bold vision to enable better insurance through frictionless risk transfer,” Carolin added.
South Korea’s ‘Bit-Island’ Jeju Announces New Blockchain Initiative
South Korea’s “Bit-Island” Jeju announced the Blockchain Hub City Development Research Service on Aug. 13.
An island with blockchain ambitions
Local news outlet JejuDomin reported on Aug. 14 that Jeju announced the Blockchain Hub City Development Research Service on Aug. 13. Furthermore, the author of the report stated that cloud services provider Tilon will carry the research. Per the report, the budget meant to cover the costs of the project amounts to 175 million won (nearly $145,000).
In April local news outlet BusinessKorea reported that Busan — South Korea’s second most populous city — has been picked over Jeju as the preferred location for South Korea’s blockchain regulation-free zone.
The island that does not surrender
Jeju previously hoped to become the local initial coin offering (ICO) hub, after being granted the status of regulation-free zone. Still, the latest developments show that the island is still fighting for relevance in the blockchain and cryptocurrency industry.
As part of the project, parties involved will reportedly analyze and investigate advanced use cases for blockchain technology and derived services, and also develop a blockchain service model suitable for Jeju Island. Future strategy director of Jeju Island Noh Hee-seop commented on the development:
“We expect that this research service will contribute to the establishment of Jeju as a blockchain hub city that maximizes the potential of blockchain technology, the core technology of the 4th Industrial Revolution.”
After first banning ICOs in September 2017, South Korean state financial regulator the Financial Services Commission announced that it will not lift its ban on ICOs in the country at the end of January.
Busan looks to release local crypto
As Cointelegraph reported in July, Busan city authorities are seeking to develop a blockchain-based digital currency project in collaboration with BNK Busan Bank, a subsidiary of local holding company BNK Financial Group.
Court Allows Blockchain.com’s Trademark Lawsuit Against Paymium to Proceed
The New York Federal Court denied the motion to dismiss the ruling in the trademark infringement action by cryptocurrency wallet and exchange operator Blockchain.com against fintech startup Paymium and its CEO Pierre Noizat over the use of domain “blockchain.io”.
According to the court documents published on Aug. 7, the lawsuit, originally filed by Blockchain.com in September 2018, claimed that Paymium and its Blockchain.io platform not only infringed on the trademark, but also were involved in alleged unfair competition and false advertising.
Blockchain versus Blockchain
In February 2019, Paymium moved a motion “to dismiss the amended complaint for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted […] and for lack of personal jurisdiction over Pierre Noizat.”
In its turn, Blockchain.com successfully managed to argue that their marks were not inherently descriptive and acquired secondary meaning, and that Blockchain.com and Blockchain.io marks were substantially similar enough for the case to proceed.
The New York Federal Court denied the trademark infringement part of the Paymium’s motion and allowed the suit to continue.
You don’t mess with the SEC
The court also found Paymium’s advertising claims that the “filing has been accepted and [it is] now registered with the SEC!” to be false, so this part stays in the lawsuit too.
In reality, the only thing the startup registered at that time with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission was a Form D. Blockchain.com argued that “the filing of a Form D does not mean that a security is ‘registered’ or that it has been in any way scrutinized or approved by the SEC.” The court agreed.
At the same time, all claims against Pierre Noizat were dismissed due to the actual lack of personal jurisdiction. The court also argued that the advertising of “hack-free status and atomic swaps” was not false.
Recently, Cointelegraph reported that IT giant Oracle sued blockchain startup CryptoOracle alleging trademark infringement and cybersquatting in the Northern District of California.
IT Giant Oracle Sues Blockchain Startup for Taking Its Name
Software development behemoth Oracle is suing blockchain startup CryptoOracle, alleging trademark infringement and cybersquatting.
Cybersquatting and trademark infringement
Technology market news outlet Computer Reseller News (CRN) reported on Aug. 15 that Oracle sued CryptoOracle alleging trademark infringement and cybersquatting in the Northern District of California.
Wikipedia states that cybersquatting “is registering, trafficking in, or using an Internet domain name with bad faith intent to profit from the goodwill of a trademark belonging to someone else.”
The complaint filed by the tech giant reportedly claims that the startup’s name has been chosen “to trade on Oracle’s reputation as an innovator and leader within the technology industry, and to evoke among consumers the goodwill that Oracle has built in its own famous brand.”
CryptoOracle is an advisory firm focused on the cryptocurrency space, which also sells tickets to industry events that it organizes, such as CryptoMondays. Oracle, on the other hand, is the software development giant behind Java that also happens to provide blockchain services.
Oracle also works on blockchain
For instance — as Cointelegraph reported in February — Oracle is expanding features on its enterprise-grade Oracle Blockchain Platform. The startup has been featured multiple times on CNBC, and one such interview is why the IT giant decided to take legal action.
Oracle reportedly first sent a cease and desist letter CryptoOracle filed for trademark rights to its name. Now, Oracle is asking a federal judge to order the startup to withdraw that trademark application, stop using its name and remove the branding from all web domains that reference it. Lastly, Oracle’s attorney also reportedly claims that the firm has the right to recover the startup’s profits.