Bridging Borders With Blockchain
Beyond Blockchain #6: Europe, South America and Asia Make Bold Blockchain Moves
Blockchain technology is shaping the structure for a new era of online transactions and activity. If the dawn of the internet enhanced cross-border communication, the emergence of distributed ledger technology (DLT) is facilitating online activities in a permissionless, trustless, and more efficient manner. Enterprises are noticing this and many of the most respected companies worldwide are turning to the technology to address key bottlenecks in their businesses.
As we’ll find out in the release of the Move Digital Beyond Blockchain series, there has recently been widespread adoption of DLT to resolve issues related to cross-border tax compliance and renewable energy. There was also notable enterprise adoption in agriculture, fashion, and digital identity. These developments are surfacing from continents including Europe, South America, and Asia. Blockchain is borderless and it is naturally becoming a strong consideration for companies worldwide.
Ernst & Young records “near-real-time tax compliance” using blockchain
Big Four accounting firm Ernst & Young announced the successful trial of a blockchain-based cross-border tax compliance solution called TaxGrid. The solution uses blockchain to build a ‘shared record book’ that tax agencies and financial intermediaries can use to track dividend income at the source.
TaxGrid uses zero-knowledge (zk) proof systems as a medium to preserve privacy, allowing only the required information to be transmitted through the network. The result is “near-real-time tax compliance” for investors as they can pay their taxes from anywhere in the world. It also reduces the burden on tax authorities and other intermediaries.
Tax authorities in the United Kingdom and Netherlands, Citibank, JP Morgan, BNP Paribas, Northern Trust, PGGM Investments, APG Asset Management, and academics from the Vienna University of Economics and Business and the University of Exeter all participated in the trial.
IBM puts Renewable Energy Certificates on Blockchain
Many organizations are using renewable energy certificates (RECs) to calculate their carbon footprint and ensure more accurate Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) reporting. However, the process of trading these certificates is costly, dominated by intermediaries, and with little to no visibility into transaction records.
IBM Blockchain announced a blockchain-based tokenization platform — EnerT — that will solve the bottlenecks facing RECs. The solution eliminates third-party involvement by bringing suppliers and consumers of renewable energy together. It also levels the playing field by pioneering the concept of “partial credits,” which allows even small enterprises to participate in the RECs market.
EnerT is built on the enterprise blockchain platform HyperLedger Fabric, thus introducing permanent and traceable records of all transactions. There are also plans to use blockchain-based tokens to store additional records such as CO2 emissions in the energy supply chain by member companies.
UK Fashion Industry taps Blockchain to promote transparency
The UK Fashion and Textile Association (UKFT) is at the centre of a blockchain-based solution that seeks to encourage retailers to abide by responsible practices while giving consumers insight into the environmental impact of their purchases.
UKFT partnered with IBM and local textile brands, such as H&M (COS Brand), Next, N Brown, New Look, and yarn manufacturer, Laxtons. These participants will use IBM’s blockchain platform, artificial intelligence, and sensors to share key information about clothing products.
For instance, the date and location of production, product components, and environment-related certifications can all be relayed to consumers via QR code. The UK government’s Innovate UK initiative provided a £1.4 million ($2m) fund for the nine-month long trial project.
Argentine Farmers to Trial Blockchain-based Digital Identity System
In South America, the Argentinian blockchain and digital identity DIDI Project is launching two new initiatives for rural farmers in the Gran Chaco and Mar del Plata regions. The first project in Gran Chaco will use a blockchain-based mobile app, “ai di”, to allow farmers to receive credentials that confirm their adherence to sustainable practices. Farmers can also store both civic and economic credentials and those that meet industry standards will get access to financial credit for their operations.
The second project will take place in Mar del Plata, and will seek to encourage the use of “ai di,” as well as other digital wallets and solutions. The DIDI project is backed by the InterAmerican Development Bank (IDB) with further participation from the Cultural Association for Integral Development (ACDI) and Argentine Government technology company OS City.
Indian Government Uses Blockchain to Certify and Provide Incentives for Startups
India’s department for promotion of industry and internal trade (DPIIT) has developed and issued blockchain-based certificates to startups vying for financing, tax exemptions, and other growth incentives.
According to local reports, the certificates will enable startups to access the Fund of Funds for Startups (FFS), a risk capital innovation fund launched in 2016 and managed by the Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI).
The solution synchronizes with India’s legacy data, and hence will likely see further adoption by other governmental departments and local enterprises offering funding and other incentives to new companies in the South Asian country.
Who is Investing in Blockchain?
Naver and Softbank Bets $25M on Telecom Blockchain Startup, TBCASoft: U.S.-based blockchain startup, TBCASoft, concluded its Series B financing round last week. The company raised $20 million from Naver Financial and an additional $5 million from earlier investor SoftBank. The startup’s primary product is HIVEX, a mobile payment solution that uses QR codes. Customers can pay their mobile carrier bills from anywhere in the world, with carriers relying on blockchain to enable real-time reconciliation.
Blockchain-based B2B payments Startup, CoreChain Raises $1.2M: Connecticut Innovations, New Form Capital, Bloccelerate VC and Ulu Ventures participated in a seed funding round for CoreChain. CoreChain uses blockchain technology to power business-to-business (B2B) payments and financing. The startup claims to have processed over $300 million worth of payments and has a solution that allows suppliers to finance working capital that is usually tied to approved, but unpaid invoices.
Level Up Your Business Operations With DLT
At Move Digital, we help both small and large-scale enterprises map out and deploy a workable DLT strategy. Our experts prescribe only solutions that will significantly boost operational efficiency and impact profit margins. If you need help getting off the mark with DLT or to re-evaluate your strategy, feel free to send us an email.