Welcome back to our monthly recap everyone!
This was a very unusual month: On one hand, great things like hosting a US federal delegation and participating in useful talks to launch the industry forward. On the other hand, these COVID19 precautions make for unusual schedules for team members who are used to attending large events and meetups which have slowed down to a complete halt in the foreseeable future. In Orbs Tel Aviv headquarters, we have taken measures including private transportation and orders to work from home, as well as daily updates and guidelines from the state and abroad regarding the news. Sit tight!
We have already been conducting meetings from home, and so far, so good. There’s a strong sense of unity which is expected during bizarre times like this, and the comradery among Orbs members is no exception!
It appears we are all in this together, even from behind closed doors. Let’s have a look at some of the more uplifting things from this past month or so:
This segment was contributed by Ran Hammer
On Feb 26th, Netta and I had an opportunity to participate and present at the first-ever U.S.-Israel Joint Fintech Dialogue. This was the first time the US has ever held such an event with any other country!
From the US government side: Acting Assistant Secretary of the Treasury Mitchell A. Silk, Advisor Aryeh Lightstone from the State Department and other high ranking officials from the US Treasury and State Department.
From Israeli government side: Deputy Minister Yitzhak Cohen, Chief Economist Shira Greenberg, Ilanit Madmoni, Director of Financial Innovation Unit and Bank of Israel, Elhanan Harmor, Director of License, Supervision Unit and the ISA, Shlomit Wagman, Director General of Israeli AML Authority and other high ranking participants.
From the private sector - Representatives from companies like Bank Leumi, Visa, MasterCard, AWS, Citi Group, KPMG, law firms etc.
Fortunately, Orbs got to be the most predominant participant from the private sector, presented our views on the proposed regulation to Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning and Alternative Data (yes we have those), and also got to promote several blockchain topics in the ensuing discussions. For instance, companies like MasterCard, Visa, AWS, Leumi Bank, PayBox, etc., did not have a slot to present and some didn’t even get a seat at the table, so it really is a great privilege to have been part of it.
The following day (Feb 27th), we had the honor to host the Treasury delegation, including the Acting Assistant Secretary, at Orbs offices. Participants on our side were Netta, Sharon Shalom, Oded N, Mattan, Nate and myself.
We presented Orbs, the core team, technology, and offers. We also had a chance to discuss potential use cases, with an emphasis on the public sector and social impact. The Assistant Secretary and staff were very receiving and seemed enthusiastic about our offering for the public sector.
The Assistant Secretary suggested we meet with different agencies within the administration to see how we can collaborate, with a few specific ideas already discussed during the meeting, and actually suggested to help us with scheduling the meetings. Super exciting stuff!
This segment was contributed by @gogogili
We’ve had an amazing day with @SoftBank’s investment arm, AKA Vision Fund, a 100 billion dollar fund and one of the most influential hi-tech funds in the world. We spent the day with a diverse group, coming from different teams within the fund (operation, investment, legal, finance, etc). We highlighted the fundamentals of blockchain technology and the core value derived from it, and gave an overview on Orbs’ unique approach to the market and how we designed the technology stack to accomodate for real-world businesses to be using blockchain.
Lastly, we elaborated on 4 different, practical use cases. We were also happy to bring with us the brilliant Haseeb Qureshi, a managing partner at DragonFly Capital crypto fund to give an overview on DeFi.
@Dannyhbrown and myself attended the Stanford Blockchain Conference as part of our ongoing engagement with the Silicon Valley blockchain community. During the conference, we were kept updated on some of the biggest projects (Libra included), caught up with partners and presented Orbs to media outlets and other stakeholders.
Earlier this month, @Dannyhbrown attended the HyperLedger Conference in Phoenix, Arizona. Due to the COV fears, attendance was much lower than expected, but the conference team had organized some great small-team workshops, having participants work on use-cases using different methodologies to identity value and design architecture.
@Dannyhbrown's team worked on a supply-chain use-case with unique market conditions: the market for Caviar is being overwhelmed with fake and illegally grown merchandise, while authorities in producing countries are not trusted to provide authentication certificates. In addition to the supply-chain architecture, provenance and external quality auditing, the proposed solution also included ‘out of the box’ ideas of user-generated content and reviews - thus highlighting further the benefits of public blockchains.
Orbs, as a WEF Global Innovator, was asked by the Centre for The Fourth Industrial Revolution to participate in their beta testing for the Strategic Intelligence Platform. In a day of overview and product testing, we had the pleasure to contribute from our knowledge and experience on how this platform can best serve members of the WEF.
Earlier in March, we submitted our response to the World’s Bank Invitation for Prototype Build for Traceability of loan disbursements (IPB 20-0801). We provided a full conceptual blockchain-based solution for tracking and tracing funds. This solution allows any government, financial aid organization or other financial institutions to monitor and manage budgets on a per-project basis down to the last mile payment. This kind of solution can revolutionize financial resources efficiency by providing maximal transparency to decision makers, and preventing multiple fraud attempts. Following our initial submission we have been informed that Orbs has passed the mandatory criteria and are invited to conduct a demo to propose our solution. The demo is scheduled for later this month.
@assaf_bielski and @RanH presented to the special crypto-currency regulatory task force formed by the Bank of Israel, with participation of treasury, tax and securities regulators. The objective of the task force is to create a regulatory environment that will accommodate the growth of the blockchain and crypto industries, and it is now on a learning tour with the leading blockchain companies in Israel. We presented the huge potential of blockchain and the value it can bring to government services and the industry in general. Ran reviewed the obstacles and challenges that blockchain infrastructure present to regulators due to its decentralized network. The participants were very impressed and were particularly interested in some of the government use cases, which we hope to develop together later this year.
This segment was contributed by Eddy Kim
Starting 12th March 2020, the ORBS PoS Wallet will allow Galaxy device users to generate, store and manage tokens for use within Samsung Blockchain Wallet.
We are excited to work together with Samsung Blockchain to bring new and exciting blockchain experiences to the Samsung Blockchain ecosystem of devices and Orbs POS Universe.
You can download the app for free now:
(Availability of the Samsung Blockchain Wallet app may vary by device, country and carrier.)
In addition, the app will also support POS 2.0 when it launches. Please stay tuned!
This segment was contributed by @Andrey,
There are 20 registered Guardians and 16 Validators running in production. There are now over 1700 Delegators participating in the Orbs PoS ecosystem.
There are 2 applications running on the Orbs Network:
Vchain 1960000 — Open-Rights (https://www.open-rights.org/)
Vchain 1970000 — Receipts Notarization (https://www.linet.org.il/)
Private vs Public Blockchain | Eran Peled
My time at the EthDenver Hackathon | Kirill Maksimov
Orbs’ Activity in the US Market | Eran Peled
Technology Update February 2020 | Noam Berg
Leading the standard-setting, China could significantly steer the industry in any direction, possibly limiting the adoption of certain blockchain platforms it can’t control. And it’s not the only country set to outpace the USA.
Ok so, this is by far the weirdest update I have had to put together after quite a bizarre few weeks here. Having said that, This WFH schedule presents its own set of interesting challenges, some of which I am happy to accept. For now, I will continue wearing adult clothes during self quarantine, which is a struggle for many of you I'm sure. Perhaps I'll pick up a cool new skill while I'm at it?