Thus far, 2020 has seen a huge explosion in blockchain-related international news stories. The world finally seems to be warming up to this game-changing technology, and recognizing its potential benefits for both governments and the private sector. In this post, we’re taking a look at three recent stories that relate to blockchain’s rapid rise.
1. Russia’s new Prime Minister suggests the state become a “digital platform.” Earlier this week, Russian President Vladimir Putin surprised the world by effectively dismissing his entire cabinet, including Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, his longtime political ally. Shortly after taking office, Russia’s new Prime Minister, Mikhail Mishustin, further surprised observers by discussion his vision for the country’s future. “The state should become a digital platform that is created for people,” Mishustin said in a statement. While it’s not clear that Mishustin was specifically addressing blockchain technology or cryptocurrency, both topics have become major concerns for the country’s lawmakers in the last few years.
2. Switzerland-based real estate firm reveals $134 million blockchain deal. Swiss investment company BrickMark announced on Wednesday that it had completed its purchase of a historic building in the heart of Zurich’s Bahnhofstrasse retail district for 130 million Swiss francs ($134 million). The deal itself is relatively routine, but the method BrickMark used secure funding is far more interesting. The company used bond-backed ERC-20 tokens on the Ethereum blockchain to create “shares” for investors, resulting in one of the highest profile uses of blockchain technology in real estate thus far. BrickMark expects to use the same platform in future deals.
3. Government-backed research claims UAE can save $3 billion using blockchain. A new whitepaper published this week by researchers in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) suggests that the country could dramatically reduce paperwork costs by switching to blockchain-based document solutions. The report, “Inclusive Deployment of Blockchain: Case Studies and Learning from the United Arab Emirates” states that blockchain solutions could free up around 77 million work hours per year, mostly in recordkeeping, resulting in $3 billion in savings.
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