$1bn in crypto lost to hackers this year, exchanges facilitate $2.5bn in laundering

Hacking

As part of a report that serves as a stark reminder of how the cryptocurrency market is still mired in criminal practices, in more ways than one, cybersecurity firm CipherTrace estimates that the theft of digital currencies through the hacking of exchanges and trading platforms in 2018 amounts to $927m. Just three-quarters of the way through the year, that figure represents a 250% increase on that of 2017. While here at The Block we’ve endeavored to keep track of the larger and more...

‘Blockchain of food’ Ripe.io lands $2.4m from investors including Maersk

From ensuring compliance within slaughterhouses, helping to trace contaminated stock and sustainable tuna fishing, much has been said about blockchain technology’s potential to overhaul the food supply chain. For the Ripe.io, that feat has just become more tangible. The US-based startup, which calls itself the ‘Blockchain of Food’, has secured $2.4m (£1.84m) in funding from investors including food service company innovation lab Relish Works, and the investor arm of shipping giant...

PSG football club to launch own cryptocurrency for global fans

Top-flight French football club Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) is gearing up to launch its own cryptocurrency, offering fans across the world a token-based stake in certain club decisions. A partnership with a Malta-based blockchain startup called Socios will provide the technology for the Paris club’s ‘Fan Token Offering’, which would allow holders of the coin to vote on decisions such as team jersey choices or opponents in friendly matches. The PSG fan token will be listed on the...

World Bank to launch first global blockchain bond for sustainable development

The World Bank has appointed the Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) to lead the creation of the first bond built on Ethereum blockchain technology.

Making the announcement last week, the World Bank said it would be “the first bond globally to be created, allocated, transferred and managed through its life cycle using distributed ledger technology”.

Dubbed bond-i, an acronym for Blockchain Offered New Debt Instrument - and a nod to Sydney’s renowned tourist beach - the...

KPMG calls US blockchain investments in 2018 sign of ‘tremendous growth’

US-based blockchain investments in the first half of this year already exceed the annual total of 2017, according to KPMG’s biannual fintech investment analysis report, ‘The Pulse of Fintech 2018’. While the company didn’t report on specific figures, the statement is sufficient to highlight the mass growth of interest in the technology, and follows recent predictions from the International Data Corporation (IDC) that the blockchain industry will see a compound annual growth rate of...

‘Groundbreaking’ blockchain trade trial by Australian Commonwealth Bank tracks tonnes of almonds

17 tonnes of almonds have been successfully shipped and tracked from Victoria (Australia) to Hamburg (Germany) in a blockchain-based collaboration between the Commonwealth Bank (CBA) and five Australian and international supply-chain leaders. According to the company’s blog, the trade experiment was facilitated by distributed ledger technology, smart contracts and the internet of things (IoT), which worked in parallel to existing processes to track the shipment “from packer to end...

‘Seed to sale’: Canada weighs up blockchain to track legal sales of cannabis

The Canadian government has reviewed blockchain as a possible solution for securely tracking marijuana “from seed to sale”, following the passing of a bill legalising recreational use of the drug nationwide last month. Under the new Cannabis Act, from October 17, Canadians will be able to buy and consume cannabis legally in a regulated market that will dictate how the plant can be grown, distributed and sold. As part of the law, the government’s health department Health Canada is...

‘Robust’ growth sees blockchain geared for $11.7bn global spend in 2022

Worldwide spend on blockchain is expected to reach $11.7bn (£8.9bn) in 2022, according to International Data Corporation (IDC) in its Worldwide Semiannual Blockchain Spending Guide. That’s a result of a “robust pace” of growth between 2017-2022, representing an compound annual growth rate of 73.2 percent. To put that increase in perspective, even with adoption of blockchain solutions beginning to gather spend, spend on the technology by the end of 2018 is expected to amount to...

‘Uber for students’: Oxford professors plan first blockchain-based university

A group of Oxford professors have set out to disrupt the traditional academic system, planning to launch the world’s first blockchain-based, decentralised university. The brainchild of Joshua Broggi, a member of Oxford University's Faculty of Philosophy, Woolf Development (the platform is dubbed ‘Woolf’) seeks to gain full EU degree-granting powers in what Broggi has unabashedly compared to ‘Uber for students, Airbnb for professors’. Built around traditional Oxford University...

‘Netflix of crypto’ gears up for UK stock listing on mission to democratise mining

The UK stock market could be about to see its first blockchain-based listing, as a new company aimed at bringing cryptocurrency mining to the 99% sets its sights on the London Stock Exchange. Argo Blockchain, launched last year as a “mining-as-a-service” subscription platform, is aiming to raise £20m in the listing with expectations at being valued at around £40m once public, as it realises its vision of handing cryptocurrency mining power to a majority. The process of creating...