In the drama-hungry world of technology news, cryptocurrency always seems to steal the spotlight. But while crypto is definitely exciting — who doesn’t like watching BTC and ETH’s price bounce around? — it’s just one part of the greater story of blockchain innovation. In fact, some of the most exciting developments in blockchain tech have little or nothing to do with cryptocurrency.
In this post, we take a look at four recent news stories about non-cryptocurrency developments in the blockchain industry.
1. IKEA begins accepting international payments via blockchain. Swedish home goods giant IKEA recently entered into a retail partnership with Iceland’s Nordic Store, settling payment for the first shipment of products using Ethereum-based smart-contract payment system Monerium. The transaction was made in collaboration with supply chain payment firm Tradeshift, and appears to be a test run for a larger blockchain payment settlement scheme endorsed by the European Economic Area. Should IKEA’s pilot program prove successful, many other commercial firms could switch to blockchain-based payment systems, which tend to have greatly reduced fees and settlement times.
2. Dubai launches blockchain-based business registry. In 2018, the Emirate of Dubai began testing potential applications for Dubai Pulse, a UAE-based Blockchain Platform as a Service (BPaaS) provider. After a year of testing, officials at Dubai’s Department of Economic Development announced plans to migrate the kingdom’s business registry to the newly developed blockchain-based Unified Business Registry Platform (UBRP). The UBRP is designed to increase regulatory transparency, and will also be used for automated validation of trade licenses in the kingdom.
3. Abu Dhabi announces plans for blockchain-based land registry. Not to be outdone by their fellow UAE kingdom, earlier this month the Emirate of Abu Dhabi announced plans to partner with Indian IT firm Tech Mahindra to create a new real estate registry called SmartHub. The blockchain-based approach will allow for streamlined searches of property records and more efficient real estate transactions. The system is currently in the final stages of development, and is planned for an initial roll out by the end of 2019.
4. Hyundai-owned blockchain firm Hdac Technology launches $10 million investment fund. Hyundai’s blockchain arm, Hdac, recently announced a VC-like investment fund that will reportedly be used to support blockchain startups and DApp developers. While not explicitly stated, the fund will likely be used to support teams working on the Hyundai token (HDAC) blockchain, which is slated for launch in early 2020. The carmaker is also reportedly partnering with fellow South Korea-based firm Kakao — the company behind the Klaytn token and blockchain — to create a joint blockchain development fund.