#TruBlo Newsletter #
Updates about trust, content, and blockchain.
##Positive outcome of TruBlo Open Call #2
Last Friday (September 10) we reached the deadline for open call #2. We received slightly more applications than in the first call. We find it amazing to see the innovative power and the range of ideas from so many teams across Europe.
Now external experts will go to work and rank the entries, to select the winners of this round. Note that TruBlo will initiate a 3rd open call. Details will be published on the website and in this newsletter. Stay tunes.
Updates this week:
##Market Analysis: 80+ companies shaping the blockchain landscape
CB Insights has a free study (after registration) providing an overview of the current blockchain landscape, primarily by looking at venture-funded companies. The study is helpful if you want to see the different areas of activities (wallets, exchanges, other uses).
Quote: “Blockchain companies raised more venture capital and private equity funding in H1’21 than any full year in history. The space is rapidly evolving as startups tackle a wide range of challenges in financial services and other industries. For example, online exchanges are making cryptocurrency trading and investing more accessible to consumers. Meanwhile, non-fungible tokens (NFTs) are making strides toward becoming mainstream.”
[CB Insights: 80+ companies shaking the blockchain landscape](https://www.cbinsights.com/research/blockchain-companies-market-map/?utm_source=CB+Insights+Newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=newsletter_general_sat_2021_09_11&utm_term=block-1&utm_content=research-public)
##Trend: People borrowing money against their cryptocurrency holdings
The “Wall Street Journal” reports about a new trend in the US: People who have crypto holdings use these assets as collateral for loans. Some People who invested early into cryptocurrencies have sizeable holdings, because of the recent rise in the value of Bitcoin, Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies. But there of course this is a risky practice and driven by much optimism, that the value will keep on rising - which might or might not be justified. Further, the practice of loads is so close to traditional banking roles that authorities are starting to watch this market closely.
[Wall Street Journal](https://www.wsj.com/articles/crypto-fans-borrow-to-buy-homes-carsand-more-crypto-11631266200?mod=djemalertNEWS)
##Views on El Salvador adopting digital money as legal tender
El Salvador has become the first country in the world to adopt a digital coin as legal tender. Below is a link to an interesting Twitter thread, reporting about steps and reactions in El Salvador from the ground. The tweets provide more background on why and how some people in El Salvador hope to benefit, and what the risks of this move are.
Another view on what is going on in El Salvador and what it could mean for the billions worth of remittances sent by migrants to their home countries -- How much money do you think does it cost when migrants sent remittances to their families at home, in the absence of cheap and fast international money transfer systems. In the case of El Salvador, transactions costs via services like Western Union are estimated to be as high as 400 Million US-Dollars, every year.
There is a need for a fast, easy, international, trustable system for money transfer, specifically for consumers who need to send small amounts, frequently. The long list of attributes already signals: This will not be easy.
##Swiss authorities grant licenses for digital exchange
This week FINMA, the Swiss banking authority, said it granted two licences, clearing the way for a launch of SIX Digital Exchange (SDX). The new platform is planned to be a trading, settlement and custody infrastructure for digital assets.
##Report: Apple plans to produce much more video/film content to boost Apple TV+
In the streaming market, Netflix and Amazon Prime Video are clear leaders. Apple is currently a decent third. Now, the iPhone maker plans to double the output of content - to present a new TV show or film every week. In addition, the company sets aside 500 Million US-Dollars for marketing.
[The Information ($)](https://www.theinformation.com/articles/apple-a-streaming-punchline-no-more)
##First one million Dollar sale for NFT on Solana blockchain platform
Sales of NFTs ([non-fungible tokens](https://www.theverge.com/22310188/nft-explainer-what-is-blockchain-crypto-art-faq)) are a current driver of revenue, with monthly, almost weekly new records. Now the Solana platform can claim success in this field.
##Profile of Joseph Lubin, an influential developer
The “Financial Times” has an interesting profile of Joseph Lubin, a co-founder of Ethereum, who runs a company by the name ConsenSys in New York. He has evolved into a discussion partner for Wall Street bankers and members of US financial institutions who are trying to understand the implications of a potential shift towards new ways to exchange value. It is interesting because it shows that new people are gradually influencing how our future financial exchanges might work.
[Financial Times: How Joseph Lubin became Wall Street’s crypto whisperer](https://www.ft.com/content/949ee788-6630-4aac-9c4d-b6b0a45f4e25)
##Two competing projects for global container shipping
In the current phase, we all wait for big blockchain projects to demonstrate the potential of this technology in real life, daily. One area with high expectations and a seemingly natural fit for blockchain strengths is global shipping. The logic goes like this: If handling and shipping of freight containers could be done using blockchain, cross border movement and customs could be highly simplified, trading could be faster and cheaper.
But, before this happens, initial projects need to go live and then demonstrate such theoretical benefits. Currently, there are two large projects, one initiated by Maersk called [TradeLens](https://www.tradelens.com). Competing with Tradelens is another project, currently a bit smaller in a total reach of containers, but already quite large, called Global Shipping Business Network (GSBN).
##Cardano can now offer smart contracts
There are many more blockchain platforms, not just Bitcoin, Ethereum. Starting with this edition of our newsletter, we want to briefly describe other platforms. This week we take a look at Cardano.
Cardano can be described as a second-generation platform, aiming to overcome the shortcomings and flaws of earlier platforms. Cardano offers a public blockchain, consensus is achieved via proof of stake. The platform was started in 2015 by Charles Hoskinson, who was a co-founder of Ethereum. The cryptocurrency used for transactions is called "ada". A core goal is to facilitate peer-to-peer transactions, with fewer costs per transaction.
This week, the project announced that it has successfully completed a hard fork called “Alonzo”. As a result, Cardano can now offer smart contracts based on the Plutus scripting language.
Quote: “The Plutus Platform is the smart contract platform for Cardano. Plutus contracts consist of parts that run on the blockchain (on-chain code) and parts that run on a user’s machine (off-chain or client code).”
Cardano supports additional scripting platforms, called [“Marlow”](https://testnets.cardano.org/en/programming-languages/glow/overview/) (to model financial instruments based on smart contracts) and [“Glow”](https://testnets.cardano.org/en/programming-languages/glow/overview/) (a new domain-specific language (DSL) for developing decentralized applications (DApps) on blockchain
[Investopedia: Cardano Definition](https://www.investopedia.com/cardano-definition-4683961)
[Wikipedia: Cardano Blockchain](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cardano_(blockchain_platform))
[IOHK: Blog post announcing Cardano smart contracts](https://iohk.io/en/blog/posts/2021/09/12/today-will-feel-like-a-destination-yet-a-new-exciting-journey-begins/)
Thank You for reading.
Please forward this newsletter if you think it has value for a colleague or friend.
Do you have feedback or suggestions? [Contact us](mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org)