Old but Gold background news

1) EUIPO to Host EU Blockathon With €100K Prize to Fight IP Crimes

The Alicante, Spain-based European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) announced on Wednesday the launch of The EU Blockathon, a worldwide competition designed to bring together the best creative minds and coders in the European Union (EU) to build solutions to fight counterfeiting within the EU and around the world.

The EU relies on creativity and innovation to drive growth in its mature economies, with intellectual property rights related industries making up 42 percent of the bloc’s overall GDP, according to the EUIPO. Intellectual property infringements, like piracy and counterfeit goods, cost European businesses EUR 90 billion each year and reduce employment by nearly 800,000 jobs, while over 10 percent of the population – some 43 million citizens – unintentionally purchased counterfeit products. Existing solutions, including RFID tags, track-and-trace systems, customs controls, and data sharing using tools like the EUIPO’s Enforcement Database, still leave opportunities for bad actors to skirt IP protections on popular items, says the organization.

2) Origin Protocol Partners With NuCypher to Add Security Layer to Decentralized Gig Economy

A blockchain startup that is building the infrastructure for a new decentralized sharing economy, Origin Protocol announced on Wednesday a partnership with NuCypher to enhance the security and scalability of decentralized applications (DApps) built on its platform. NuCypher provides end-to-end encryption and data sharing access technology to DApps and will act as a privacy layer for the blockchain based sharing economy. 

San Francisco-based Origin Protocol provides transaction services and connects consumers to opportunities at a fraction of current prices through DApps and ecosystems, according to the company’s statement. Over 30 companies, including Propy, CanYa, and WeTrust have committed to building applications on the platform, from ridesharing applications to decentralized freelance marketplaces.

3) ONEm Seeks to Bring Internet to Rural Africa via Blockchain-Powered SMS

ONEm Communications announced on Wednesday the initiation of partnership and licensing agreements throughout Africa to implement internet services for millions of rural African residents using SMS and voice technology on mobile phones. The company aims to leverage low bandwidth requirements and improved infrastructure technology to bring rural Africans into the world of internet-based group communications by developing interactive SMS, supported by blockchain technology, and voice tools that are relevant to local markets.

Over half of the population of Africa live their daily lives without internet, said the London-based company, in a statement. Even with mobile phone penetration at nearly 80 percent, under 20 percent of Africans live without consistent access to the internet and the multitude of educational and universe of opportunities that come with it. This limitation stifles innovation from thousands of minds across the continent and makes access to critical services difficult or impossible for many citizens, increasing risks during natural disasters and reducing the feeling of connectedness to state governments.


4) Office-Provider Knotel Raises $70m, Readies Blockchain Tech

The customized-office provider Knotel, which is planning a service that will use blockchain to track space listings, announced on Tuesday that it has closed a USD 70 million financing round.

According to Knotel, the funding comes on the heels of rapid growth, with the company opening forty locations across New York, San Francisco, and London, totaling nearly a million square feet, and attracting enterprise companies that would otherwise take a lease over the last two years. Knotel is also working on a blockchain platform that would allow users to search for office space.

“Efficient and independent search for office space is impossible due to fragmented listing data. Knotel will use revolutionary blockchain technology to ensure that every listing on our platform is accurate, eliminating misinformation and price inflation,” the company stated on its website, adding, “Near real-time settlement of recorded transactions will remove friction and reduce risk during the rental and buying services, which will also limit the ability to charge back and cancel transactions.”

5) 22 Countries to Establish European Blockchain Partnership

Twenty-two European countries signed a declaration Wednesday on the establishment of a European Blockchain Partnership.

Officials expect the partnership to facilitate cooperation among member states in technical and regulatory fields, as well as prepare for the launch of EU-wide blockchain applications throughout the Digital Single Market for the benefit of the public and private sectors.

The partnership is also intended to allow Europe to play a leading role in the development and roll-out of blockchain technologies. It is expected to contribute to the creation of an enabling environment, in full compliance with EU laws and with clear governance models to help services using blockchain technologies grow throughout Europe, officials said.

The countries participating in the declaration are: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and the UK. Other members of the EU and of the European Economic Area are invited to join.


Republished with permission from the wonderful guys at www.the-blockchain.com