JP Morgan-Backed Firm Partners with Blockchain Startup Owned By Former Deloitte Exec

JP Morgan-backed digital services firm Smartrac has partnered with SUKU Ecosystem, a blockchainstartup owned by former Deloitte exec Eric Piscini, according to a tweet on Tuesday, Jan. 22.

SUKU, which is parented by another Piscini-owned blockchain firm Citizen Reserve, will provide its platform to integrate with Smartrac’s supply chain. Smartrac is a radio-frequency identification (RFID) inlay manufacturer. Based on the public Ethereum (ETH) blockchain, Citizens Reserve’s platform is operating its own cryptocurrency, ZERV, which was developed on an ERC20 token.

Piscini, CEO at both SUKU and Citizen, said that the new partnership aims to resolve major problems related to supply chain digitization. Per Piscini the new blockchain integration will improve tracking, security, and transparency across the supply chain. Dinesh Dhamija, CTO of Citizens Reserve, said:

“The combination of Smartrac’s digital enablement capabilities along with Citizen’s Reserves’ SUKU platform will provide a unique identity for each physical product with a transparent and accessible supply chain solution.”

Netherlands-based Smartrac specializes in Internet of Things (IoT) technology, and is reportedly the world’s largest supplier of electronic passports inlays. In July 2018, global e-commerce giant AlibabaGroup acquired shares in Smartrac, while JP Morgan reportedly remained the largest shareholder.

Deloitte, a Big Four audit and consulting firm, recently included blockchain technology in its Tech Trends 2019 report, stressing its disruptive nature and outlining blockchain as “the unsung hero of our digital future.”


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Author: Helen Partz
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Goldman Sachs, Wall Street Banks Sink $32 Million into Enterprise Blockchain Startup

We may, as Lightning Labs CEO Elizabeth Stark said earlier this year, be entering a “bitcoin not blockchain” world, but the global banking cabal isn’t ready to capitulate on its support for enterprise blockchain products just yet.

LIONBIT

Indeed, Axoni, an enterprise blockchain startup founded in 2013, has just concluded a $32 million Series B funding round headlined by a group of Wall Street’s largest financial institutions.

Announced on Tuesday, the funding round was led by Goldman Sachs and Nyca Partners and featured investments from major financial industry firms such as Wells Fargo, JPMorgan, Citigroup, and Franklin Templeton. The funding round also included more conventional blockchain investors, including Digital Currency Group, Andreessen Horowitz, and Y Combinator.

“Our strategic partners have been critical to our success so far; we are delighted to strengthen and expand those relationships with this financing as we continue to deploy Axoni’s technology,” said Greg Schvey, CEO of Axoni.

Axoni plans to use its new capital to power the development of its AxCore platform, which is intended to underpin the next generation of platforms that operate in the $11 trillion credit derivatives market. Toward this end, the firm plans to place a particular emphasis on building out AxLang, an Ethereum-compatible smart contracts scripting language designed to facilitate formal verification.

TIP

“The adoption of distributed ledger protocols in capital markets resembles the early days of adopting TCP/IP for distributed enterprise applications,” said C. Thomas Richardson, head of Market Structure and Electronic Trading Services at Wells Fargo Securities. “We continue to be impressed with Axoni’s ability to facilitate such adoption by identifying use cases that could benefit from blockchain technology.”

The firm has already signed a major partnership with the Depository Trust and Clearing Corporation (DTCC), which offers post-trade clearing and settlement services and processes $1.6 quadrillion worth of transactions annually. Forbes reports that the New Jersey-based DTCC has tasked Axoni with building it a blockchain-based distributed ledger to which it can migrate its Trade Information Warehouse.

In 2016, CCN reported that DTCC CEO Michael Bodson said that the advent of blockchain technology presented the firm with a “once-in-a-generation opportunity to modernize the post-trade environment.”

Previously, Axoni raised $18 million in a Series A funding round led by Wells Fargo and NEX Group, and the company has now raised a total of $55 million.


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Author: Josiah Wilmoth
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