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The IBM–Maersk blockchain effort was doomed to fail from the start

Observers can learn a few things from the failed effort by IBM and Moller-Maersk to develop TradeLens, a blockchain-enabled global trading platform.

Blockchain projects continue to experience failure rates in excess of 90%, and it seems that with every passing moment, more and more “successful” companies add their underperforming blockchain project to the graveyard. One of the most recent blockchain failure victims was Moller-Maersk, which recently announced the termination of its highly publicized TradeLens offering — a global trade platform built on IBM blockchain technology. 

These failures, however, were totally predictable and, in many cases, would be avoidable if companies more closely observed certain lessons in innovation diffusion.

Lesson 1: Innovation is not monolithic. One of the biggest mistakes companies make is to treat innovation as a monolithic concept. Innovation is anything but monolithic. Unfortunately, business associations, business press and business schools love to create an endless parade of innovation lists and innovation awards that reinforce the idea that all innovation is the same.

Clayton Christensen’s New York Times best-selling book The Innovator’s Dilemma was one of the first major attempts to distinguish innovation types. His work was helpful in starting the conversation, but a better framework for categorizing innovation comes from Rebecca Henderson and Kim Clark, who identified four types of innovation: incremental, modular, architectural and radical.

Related: From Bernie Madoff to Bankman-Fried, Bitcoin maximalists have been validated

While there are innovations that may fit in the modular and architectural category, blockchain is, at its core, disruptive. Given that disruptive technologies replace existing frameworks, interactions and intermediate institutions, the most successful early applications and innovations will come from smaller/startup firms rather than IBM, Maersk or other Fortune 100 companies.

Lesson 2: Complexity is an innovation killer. This is especially true for modular and radical innovation. Everett Rogers noted the inverse relationship between complexity and the willingness and ability to adopt an innovation. This complexity not only relates to the blockchain application itself but also to internal decision-making processes, the level of change required to adopt, and how much new knowledge is needed to implement.

Details of IBM-Maersk's canceled plan to build a blockchain platform. Source: IBM-Maersk

Experts have outlined the difficulty of implementing projects like TradeLens, as “the technology is complex, requires more computing power and is more expensive to run than existing databases.” Adding to the complexity of the IBM–Maersk blockchain shipment project was the highly complex nature of the two large multinational corporations.

In the last round of major technological innovation — namely, the social media space — it was not the established players that built the tools, technology, platforms, etc., that drove early innovation and adoption. It was startups — organizations where decision-making cycles were short, minimal internal change was required to adapt, and new knowledge was able to be assimilated almost instantaneously.

Given these dynamics, initial successful innovative breakthroughs for blockchain are more likely to be found in simplistic applications developed by much smaller, more entrepreneurial firms that replace or reshape simple processes around how work gets done, products get made or transactions are facilitated between two parties.

Lesson 3: Different innovation types require different levels of risk tolerance. One of the key differentiators between the four types of innovation is the risk tolerance required to be an effective innovator. The risk-tolerance level for incremental innovation is low, while radical innovation requires a significantly higher risk tolerance.

An important note is that tolerance here is not just looking at the risk or probability that a project might fail. Assessing innovation risk also looks at the likelihood of catastrophic failure for the entire organization — meaning if the adoption or innovation fails, the entire organization risks failing, not just the innovation.

Billy Beane’s application of sabermetrics to the roster construction and management of the Oakland Athletics in the early 2000s is a well-known example of a modular innovation application. This innovation posed a high personal and organizational risk that no other Major League team was willing to take.

Related: The Federal Reserve’s pursuit of a ‘reverse wealth effect’ is undermining crypto

Failure for the A’s would not have been catastrophic (i.e., the team ceasing to be a Major League franchise). However, the costs would have been extremely high. Beane would have lost his job (as well as many others). A dissatisfied fan base would have punished the team by staying home and ceasing apparel purchases, leading to a massive drop in revenue. And the A’s would have become a glorified Minor League team.

Blockchain, as a radical innovation, requires an even higher level of risk tolerance for innovation and adoption — a willingness to risk it all. Companies that tinker around the edges (incremental or architectural innovation) with a project, where if innovation fails, they can just walk away, are much more likely to experience blockchain failures in this early stage of innovation.

Blockchain and other decentralized technologies hold great promise for much-needed change away from the current trend toward more concentrated modes of production and power. The ultimate task is to align our time, efforts and resources with the innovation lessons provided here to give this blockchain technological revolution the best shot to succeed.

Lyall Swim is the chief innovation officer for Atlas Network. He holds a doctorate in education with an emphasis in organizational leadership from Pepperdine University. He has a bachelor’s degree in communications and an MBA from Brigham Young University.

This article is for general information purposes and is not intended to be and should not be taken as legal or investment advice. The views, thoughts and opinions expressed here are the author’s alone and do not necessarily reflect or represent the views and opinions of Cointelegraph.

Improving Bitcoin NFT marketplace infrastructure sets the stage for ecosystem growth

Turkish automaker Togg onboards Metaco for crypto custody and governance

The partnership with Metaco will see the use of its digital asset custody and orchestration platform, Harmonize, to safeguard the custody and governance of Togg’s digital assets.

Turkish automotive company Togg announced a partnership with Metaco, a digital asset custody orchestration technology provider, to secure its open mobility ecosystem built on Avalanche

Togg’s Mobility-as-a-Service platform (MaaS), a.k.a, Mobility Ecosystem, aims to deliver smart contract-powered use cases — including tokenization of mobility services, assessment of CO2 footprint and nonfungible token (NFT) ownership — for users in Türkiye and Europe.

The partnership with Metaco will see the use of its digital asset custody and orchestration platform, Harmonize, to safeguard the custody and governance of Togg’s digital assets. Sharing insights on the initiative, Togg CEO M. Gürcan Karakas stated:

“Blockchain-enabled digital tokens allow data and other assets to be stored and transferred in a fast, secure, and green way. By leveraging technology from Metaco, we make this possible.”

Hosted over IBM Cloud, Metaco’s platform provides Togg with total control of its encrypted data, workloads and encryption keys. According to the announcement, Harmonize is equipped with compliance standards used by Tier 1 banks dealing with digital assets.

Cast your vote now!

German car manufacturer BMW recently onboarded two blockchain firms to improve its customer loyalty program in Thailand. On Dec. 29, 2022, BMW announced partnerships with blockchain infrastructure firm Coinweb as its decentralized architecture provider and BNB Chain for settling transactions.

Related: Crypto adoption in 2022: What events moved the industry forward?

The first phase of the initiative is focused on integrating decentralized tech into automating BMW’s daily manual operations. The project's second phase would see Coinweb develop a customized Web3 application for BMW’s customer loyalty program.

Improving Bitcoin NFT marketplace infrastructure sets the stage for ecosystem growth

Blockchain’s use in healthcare ‘essential’ to protect sensitive data: Zelis CTO

Zelis CTO Kali Durgampudi has called on health care providers to utilize blockchain tech to protect customer data and stave off attacks from cybercriminals.

Kali Durgampudi, the CTO of healthcare payments company Zelis, believes that the implementation of blockchain tech is vital for protecting patients' sensitive data from cybercriminals.

Speaking with Health IT News on July 20, Durgampudi noted that some of the biggest issues in healthcare are privacy and data security as the industry works to digitize its “archaic paper-based processes.”

“Blockchain technology has the potential to alleviate many of these concerns,” he said, as he highlighted the importance of utilizing a digital ledger that is “impenetrable” to protect sensitive patient and financial data amid the growing rate of cyberattacks across the globe.

“Since the information cannot be modified or copied, blockchain technology vastly reduces security risks, giving hospital and healthcare IT organizations a much stronger line of defense against cybercriminals.”

Durgampudi went on to note that blockchain tech can also play a key role in healthcare payments, as it can help provide greater transparency and efficiency over current payment models in healthcare. He said the many payers and providers were hesitant to share information via email as emails could go awry and there was no proof of delivery.

“Blockchain provides both payers and providers with complete visibility into the entire lifecycle of a claim, from the patient registering at the front desk to disputing a cost to sending an explanation of benefits,” he added.

Real world use

One of the major companies that has worked on blockchain-based healthcare solutions is multinational tech giant IBM.

The blockchain arm of the company has rolled out several solutions for healthcare such as health credential verification, the 'Trust Your Supplier' service to find verified suppliers, and 'Blockchain Transparent Supply', which provides supply chain tracking on temperature-controlled pharmaceuticals.

In March 2021, Cointelegraph reported that IBM was working on a trial of a COVID-19 vaccination passport dubbed the “Excelsior Pass” in partnership with former New York Governor Andrew Cuomo. The passport was designed to be able to verify an individual's vaccination or test results by IBM's blockchain.

Related: Blockchain without crypto: Adoption of decentralized tech

Another key player in the blockchain-based healthcare space is enterprise blockchain VeChain. In June last year the project teamed up with Shanghai’s Renji Hospital to launch a blockchain-based In-Vitro fertilization (IVF) service application.

VeChain also partnered with The Republic of San Marino in July 2021 to launch an NFT-based vaccination passport that was said to be verifiable worldwide by scanning QR codes tied to the certificate.

David Jia, who is a blockchain investor and has a Ph.D. in Neuroscience from Oxford University, echoed similar sentiments to Durgampudi this week.

In a July 21 blog post on Medium, Jia emphasized that blockchain tech could significantly improve drug traceability and verification, along with the data management of clinical trials, patient info and claiming/billing.

“Accuracy in medical records over the long term as well as accessibility is essential, as it is necessary for an individual’s record to be able to be transferred between providers, insurance companies, and specialists with relative ease. If medical records are stored on a blockchain, they may be updated safely in almost real-time,” he wrote.

Improving Bitcoin NFT marketplace infrastructure sets the stage for ecosystem growth

HSBC and IBM create successful multi-ledger CBDC demo

The two firms successfully executed cross-realm and end-to-end digital asset transactions with the pilot test, which can also settle securities and forex.

On Thursday, HSBC and IBM announced the successful test of an advanced token and digital wallet settlement between two central bank digital currencies, or CBDCs, in a cloud environment. The experiment consisted of transactions between CBDCs, eBonds, and forex. IBM's Hyperledger Fabric and enterprise technology provider R3's Corda served as the basis of the distributed ledger facilitating the transactions.

The project was overseen by central bank Banque de France as part of a series of tranche projects to implement a digital Euro. Previously the French and Swiss central banks reported positive results on a pilot run of the digital Swiss Franc and Euro. Nevertheless, the two financial institutions issued caution on the subject, citing regulatory concerns.

Mark Williamson, managing director of GFX eRisk, partnerships & propositions at HSBC, said:

Interoperability across different distributed ledgers and technologies was key in demonstrating how to save time, reduce market risk and improve security for transactions between central banks, commercial banks, and in time our clients around the world.

Likhit Wagle, general manager of global banking & financial markets at IBM, added:

As central banks around the world begin to explore the potential for CBDC to bring greater transparency and security to financial transactions, this initiative provides a comprehensive roadmap.

Across the world, CBDCs are gaining traction in part due to their utility as a means to combat the rises of stablecoins, which, to some, represent a threat to the financial system. This month alone, Australian Reserve Bank's Project Atom CBDC research uncovered numerous benefits. Around the same time, Kazakhstan's central bank reported positive results on its CBDC pilot project. The Eastern Caribbean CBDC expanded to two other countries, and Russia is prioritizing the development of a digital Ruble.

Improving Bitcoin NFT marketplace infrastructure sets the stage for ecosystem growth

French central bank pilots blockchain-based CBDC for debt market

Led by Belgian financial services firm Euroclear, the latest French CBDC trial involved a system by tech giant IBM.

The central bank of France continues actively exploring a central bank digital currency (CBDC), completing a significant trial of a blockchain-based CBDC in the country’s debt market.

Over 500 institutions in France have participated in a 10-month experiment testing a CBDC issued by Banque de France for government bond deals, The Financial Times reported Oct. 19.

The CBDC trial was led by Belgium-based financial services firm Euroclear and used a system developed by American technology giant IBM. The CBDC test also involved the French public debt office alongside the central bank and a consortium of major financial companies operating in France, including firms like BNP Paribas, Crédit Agricole CIB, HSBC and Société Générale.

As part of the trial, the participants traded government bonds and security tokens, settling them using a CBDC supplied by the central bank. The project tested use cases of a CBDC in a range of everyday activities, such as issuing new bonds, using them in repurchase agreements, as well as paying coupons and redeeming deals.

“We have together successfully been able to measure the inherent benefits of this technology, concluding that the central bank digital currencies can settle central bank money safely and securely,” Euroclear executive Isabelle Delorme said.

According to Soren Mortensen, global director of financial markets at IBM, the project “went well beyond previous blockchain initiatives” because it successfully trialed “most central securities depository and central bank processes” while cutting off existing interim steps like reconciliation between market intermediaries.

Related: G7 leaders issue central bank digital currency guidelines

After launching an experimental CBDC program in March 2020, the central bank of France has been consistently testing various CBDC use cases. In June, Banque de France tested a CBDC to simulate the settlement and delivery of listed securities in collaboration with Swiss cryptocurrency bank SEBA. Previously, the central bank piloted a CBDC to issue $2.4 million worth of simulated shares using a private blockchain platform.

Improving Bitcoin NFT marketplace infrastructure sets the stage for ecosystem growth

IBM opens Hyperledger Fabric source code to drive enterprise blockchain adoption

IBM shows its commitment to Hyperledger and enterprise blockchain development with its largest-ever contribution of open-source code.

The global blockchain technology market size is projected to reach $72 billion in the next five years. In order to ensure this growth, however, blockchain solution providers must continue to advance and innovate. 

For example, public enterprise blockchain use has become an ongoing trend this year as companies like ConsenSys aim to drive adoption for open, permissionless networks. On the flip side, it’s important to point out that private blockchains are still being leveraged by enterprises and will continue to be utilized as innovation continues.

Advancing open, permissioned blockchain networks

Most recently, computing giant IBM announced that it has open-sourced a large portion of its Hyperledger Fabric code to help drive up adoption rates for enterprise blockchain use cases.

Kareem Yusuf, general manager of AI and blockchain applications at IBM, told Cointelegraph that this is one of IBM’s largest contributions to open-source code. He further noted that the company is unveiling a new Hyperledger Fabric support offering, along with donating the code that supports token exchanges on Hyperledger Fabric, known as Fabric Token SDK. Yusuf said:

“Our intent is to make sure we have a vibrant and active Hyperledger community. To support this, we have announced two key moves. One is the donation of our management console code capabilities, which was in our IBM Blockchain Platform, into the Hyperledger Labs world. Another is making available a support offering for those wishing to use Hyperledger Fabric with full-product support from IBM.”

According to Yusuf, IBM’s significant code contribution will make it easier for Hyperledger users to utilize Fabric, which is an enterprise-grade distributed ledger platform that caters to a variety of enterprise use cases. IBM’s blockchain platform is powered by Hyperledger Fabric.

It’s also worth mentioning that Hyperledger was launched in 2015 by the Linux Foundation as an open-source collaborative effort to advance cross-industry blockchain technologies. Hyperledger hosts a number of enterprise blockchain projects such as Fabric.

Brian Behlendorf, executive director of Hyperledger, told Cointelegraph that IBM’s new contributions will specifically make it easier for every developer to build on top of and manage a Fabric blockchain network. He further noted that these new efforts are organized as “Labs,” which are separate projects from Fabric but are used to build upon the Fabric framework.

For example, Behlendorf pointed out that Fabric’s “Token SDK” will help formalize the approach for managing tokens on top of Fabric. Building tokens on top of Hyperledger has always been possible, as Metacoin (MTC) was the first cryptocurrency built on Hyperledger to achieve mainnet status in 2018. Although this is a feature offered to developers, Behlendorf noted that it had previously required a lot of “do-it-yourself” effort. “Now that gets a better-supported approach,” he remarked.

Behlendorf added that another Lab, the “Fabric Smart Console,” makes managing a cluster of Fabric nodes across a network even easier to monitor and manage. Both of these Labs should become more accessible for developers to leverage once IBM’s full-support offering is available in the Red Hat Marketplace sometime this fall. The offering will include access to IBM-certified images, code security scans and around-the-clock customer support. Yusuf added:

“Being able to manage Hyperledger Fabric has been challenging. A major thing to consider here is support. If all costs of support are embedded in a single project, this can’t be monetized across other projects, and it becomes more expensive. A standardized support offering, however, can be very well structured to fit across multiple use cases.”

Specifically speaking, Arun S.M. — Hyperledger contributor, leader in the Hyperledger India chapter and member of the Hyperledger Technical Steering Committee — told Cointelegraph that the announcement of Fabric Smart Console, the crux of operations part of IBM Blockchain Platform, came as a surprise, noting that the secret sauce has now been revealed:

“There are projects within Hyperledger (including Labs) that can deploy a network, help to visualize and monitor deployed networks, including performing operations to varying degrees. What brings in excitement around the latest announcement is that IBM Blockchain Platform is used in many production applications. It is mature and seasoned. Having a self-hosted management portal with an intuitive UI that can hide complexities and reduce the network administration is a blessing in disguise for many.”

Ultimately, Yusuf explained that these new offerings will help increase adoption for enterprise blockchain use cases looking to leverage permissioned networks. Moreover, Yusuf noted that open-sourcing the Fabric code will help bring down costs, which has been a primary challenge for small-to-medium-sized companies looking to use permissioned networks.

This is important for a number of reasons. For instance, even though one industry report shows that public blockchain adoption has emerged as the leading market segment, Yusuf mentioned that enterprise use cases that leverage a shared, permissioned blockchain are still critical — especially for use cases like supply chain management:

“By definition, a supply chain is a network that involves sharing information between suppliers and different parties, so you need a blockchain infrastructure to tackle inventory visibility, provenance, responsible sourcing and more.”

By allowing Hyperledger Fabric’s base foundation to be open, Yusuf believes this will encourage more people to engage and collaborate using permissioned networks.

Hyperledger community is expected to grow

In addition to advancing enterprise blockchain adoption using open, permissioned networks, IBM’s contributions may draw more developers to the Hyperledger community.

According to Behlendorf, the impact of IBM’s open-source offerings will bring more developers to Hyperledger Fabric and the community as a whole. “This will hopefully inspire more to cross over into becoming contributors and core maintainers as well,” he remarked.

Related: As Microsoft Azure closes shop, ConsenSys Quorum opens up to new users

As such, enterprises leveraging Hyperledger Fabric are likely to grow. For example, the Filecoin Foundation recently announced that it has become a member of the Hyperledger community. Marta Belcher, board chair of the Filecoin Foundation, commented that Filecoin’s (FIL) decentralized storage capabilities have tremendous potential in the enterprise space. “We’re thrilled to join Hyperledger, a leader in enterprise blockchain technology, to explore these possibilities,” she said.

It’s also noteworthy that IBM’s contributions to Hyperledger Fabric demonstrate the company’s commitment to advancing enterprise blockchain. This is key to recognize, as it was previously rumored that IBM Blockchain’s team was “dissolving.”

Yusuf remarked that he’s particularly focused on scale and adoption moving forward. “From IBM’s perspective, you can expect to see use cases that leverage blockchain to bring actual end value to our customers.”

Improving Bitcoin NFT marketplace infrastructure sets the stage for ecosystem growth

Spanish seafood firm partners with IBM for supply chain tracking

Spanish multinational seafood giant, Nueva Pescanova Group, has partnered with The IBM Food Trust to trace the shrimp and prawns it fishes on the blockchain.

Spanish-based seafood firm, Nueva Pescanova Group, has announced its working with IBM to utilize its Food Trust platform — a distributed ledger technology platform designed for supply chain traceability.

According to a June 8 announcement from IBM, the partnership is already underway, with Nueva Pescanova utilizing blockchain technology to track shrimp fishing in Argentina and prawn cultivation in Ecuador.

In the announcement, Ignacio González, the CEO of the Nueva Pescanova Group, stated the tracability platform will help the firm in meeting the United Nation’s Global Dialogue on Seafood Traceability (DGST) standards, stating:

“We want to offer our consumers all over the world rigorous and detailed information on the traceability of our seafood products, from their origin until they reach their tables. Now is the time for businesses across the seafood sector to begin addressing the GDST standards.”

Nueva Pescanova Group is a leading multinational seafood firm that was founded in 1960. The company covers the cultivation, production, processing, and distribution of seafood.

IBM’s Food Trust traceability platform was designed for the food industry, enabling members of the network to view comprehensive supply chain data from products in “near real-time” — offering significant efficiency savings to producers, minimizing fraud across the global market, and ensuring safety and sustainability obligations are met.

Sustainability is an issue of increasing importance to seafood consumers, with IBM referencing its 2020 Europe Food Sustainability study, which found that nearly 50% of respondents would buy more seafood if they had more information on its “origin, safety and production.”

The partnership adds to the growing list of food and agricultural firms that have partnered with IBM for blockchain-based supply chain solutions.

In February, Multinational retail giant Carrefour partnered with IBM to track the supply chain of chicken and microgreens. In December 2020, Cointelegraph reported that Nestlé, Dole, and olive oil giant CHO were already leveraging the IBM Food Trust Network.

Improving Bitcoin NFT marketplace infrastructure sets the stage for ecosystem growth

iExec RLC rallies 400% after big-name collaborations and Coinbase listing

Major exchange listings and real-world collaborations with Google and IBM sparked a 400% rally in the price of RLC.

Since the summer of 2020, decentralized exchanges (DEX) have been all the rage and in 2021 developers and investors continue to flock to the sector due to the ease of listing and buying into new projects.

While the method has proved fruitful for many projects, the price performance for iExec RLC (RLC), a blockchain-based decentralized cloud computing network that recently listed on several centralized exchanges, shows that CEX listings still carry the most weight when it comes to initiating price movements.

RLC/USDT 4-hour chart. Source: TradingView

Data from Cointelegraph Markets Pro and TradingView shows that the price of RLC has surged 430% to $16.50 since rising off its May 4 low at $3.16.

Centralized exchange listings ignite the rally

Momentum for RLC kicked into high gear following the May 4 announcement that it would be listed on Coinbase, the top U.S. exchange by volume, which recently made waves in the traditional financial markets following its direct listing on the NASDAQ.

On May 5 it was also revealed that the RLC would be listed on the Huobi and Bithumb exchange, bringing further legitimacy and trading volume to the token.

The project received another boost of attention following the May 6 announcement of the official start of the iExec developer rewards program in which $1 million has been allocated to “inspire developers to discover the opportunities for innovation made possible with the iExec $RLC protocol.”

Monday’s price breakout to new record highs was initiated after the following tweet that highlighted iExec’s participation in the EU-backed Data Cloud project:

Follow up tweets that detailed iExec’s involvement in the ‘Trusted compute’ working group within the Ethereum (ETH) Alliance, Google’s confidential cloud computing program, the Confidential Computing Consortium and its collaboration with IBM further helped provide a further boost to RLC on May 10.

VORTECS™ data from Cointelegraph Markets Pro began to detect a bullish outlook for RLC on May 9, prior to the recent price rise.

The VORTECS™ Score, exclusive to Cointelegraph, is an algorithmic comparison of historic and current market conditions derived from a combination of data points including market sentiment, trading volume, recent price movements and Twitter activity.

VORTECS™ Score (green) vs. RLC price. Source: Cointelegraph Markets Pro

As seen in the chart above, the VORTECS™ Score for RLC reached a low of 48 on May 8 before quickly pushing into the dark green zone for a score of 84 on May 9, just two hours before its price rallied 120% over the next day.

After securing partnerships with some of the biggest cloud computing providers in the industry and listing on the largest centralized exchanges in the cryptocurrency market, iExec RLC looks well-positioned for further growth as mainstream investors look for real-world blockchain use cases to invest in and more money finds its way into the growing cryptocurrency ecosystem.

The views and opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Cointelegraph.com. Every investment and trading move involves risk, you should conduct your own research when making a decision.

Improving Bitcoin NFT marketplace infrastructure sets the stage for ecosystem growth

Expert panel divided over best way to achieve diversity in crypto sector

Experts are divided over ways to balance diversity in crypto, with Rupert Colchester of IBM noting that teams should be “built right” from the ground up.

While almost everyone agrees the blockchain industry needs to address the under representation of women in the sector, experts remain divided on the best way to achieve it.

Should we take an interventionist approach or hope that as blockchain becomes more widespread it will hold more appeal outside of its core demographics?

Recent data from trading platform eToro, which has 18 million registered users, suggests women account for just 15% of Bitcoin traders, and 12% of Ether traders.

Panellists at an Australian Blockchain Week event on April 21 offered a range of views on how to provide more diversity in the crypto and blockchain sectors moving forward.

Rupert Colchester, the Lead Client Partner for IBM said he was amazed how many “things are built by teams that aren't diverse,” as he feels that diverse perspectives can help ensure user-friendliness and also help to create better products. Colchester stated his solution to the problem was to “build his teams right” with a 50/50 male-to-female ratio from the ground up:

“I think designing, you know, good ethics, designing diverse applications designed by diverse people and that whole kind of wave of diversity, that's how you get here. You know, that's how you get to a good thing.”

Sue Keay, the CEO of Queensland AI Hub & Chair of Robotics Australia echoed Colchester’s sentiment, noted she's in favor of a more interventionist approach to  diversity regulation because a failure to do so could lead to a future of homogenized thinking and values when it comes to blockchain tech development:

“The big risk is that we will have a future that looks very much like it's populated by you know, 18 to 30-year-old white Anglo-Saxon men who live on the west coast of the US and reflects only those points of view.”

While Professor and Future Fellow at RMIT University Ellie Rennie didn’t disagree she suggested we may not need to put the emphasis on quotas to force diversity. Noting that “one of the many things that's interesting about Blockchain is that it's really not just about developers,” she pointed to the growth of different crypto sub sectors such as DeFi and NFTs which attract very different, and diverse, crowds.

“So DeFi, it's very much about people with financial expertise, in NFTs it's artists and they're bringing, you know, creative and interesting work and contributions into these infrastructures that I think is, you know, often overlooked because we focus so much on who's making the code.”

Karen Cohen, the Director of Blockconsulting Group and the head of Melbourne's Women in Blockchain, told Cointelegraph that she feels there is “still a long way to go” for gender diversity in crypto and finance". She pointed to the Chief Executive Women ASX200 census in September 2020, which revealed only 10 Female CEOs of ASX 200 companies.

But Cohen noted that a quota is only “one tool in the diversity toolbox”, and emphasized that “mentoring, sponsorship, training and succession planning” are also important pieces of the puzzle:

“We need to think more holistically about this issue and have a succession plan for every role in the business and how we can prepare women for the next level. If they haven't got the skills to step up to the next role now, what investment and training do they need to get there?”

She said that projects making an attempt to hire an equal number of women and men for entry-evel positions would help as well as designing appropriate “family-friendly policies and procedures to ensure you retain your women in the business and also allow men to take parental leave so women can choose to go back to work as well.”

Improving Bitcoin NFT marketplace infrastructure sets the stage for ecosystem growth

NY Governor Cuomo launches blockchain-powered vaccination passports

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has launched of a blockchain-powered vaccination passport built on top of IBM's Digital Health Pass.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced the launch of the city's blockchain-powered “Excelsior Pass” vaccination passport on March 26.

The passport is issued through a free and voluntary platform that verifies Covid-19 vaccinations or negative test results via a QR code for smartphone scanning or printing. The Excelsior Pass is intended to assist the process of reopening businesses and public venues across New York.

The vaccination passport is built on IBM’s blockchain-powered Digital Health Pass, which enables a user's identity, vaccination history, and test results to be verified and securely shared without revealing unrelated personal information.

In the announcement, Governor Cuomo emphasized the importance of utilizing technology to reopen in a way that caters to both public health and the economy:

"As more New Yorkers get vaccinated each day and as key public health metrics continue to regularly reach their lowest rates in months, the first-in-the-nation Excelsior Pass heralds the next step in our thoughtful, science-based reopening."

Steve LaFleche, General Manager of IBM Public and Federal Markets, pride in assisting New York’s plan for reopening, stating: "IBM is proud to support the State of New York with its efforts to apply innovative technologies to help residents and communities respond to COVID-19.”

Cuomo first revealed plans for a blockchain-powered vaccination passport on March 2, following a successful trial of the system at a Brooklyn Nets NBA game the previous week.

Improving Bitcoin NFT marketplace infrastructure sets the stage for ecosystem growth