Big News for Bloq!

As you know Matthew Roszak is the C0-Founder of Bloq and, as of last week, the company has some big announcements!  BloqLabs has been created and Bloq has joined the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance.  To learn more about these two ventures and what it means for the future of Bloq read the article from Bitcoin Magazine below.

Bloq Invests in Blockchain Innovation With BloqLabs, Joins Enterprise Ethereum Alliance

Two announcements from the DC Blockchain Summit came from Bloq, a pioneer in the development of enterprise-grade blockchain solutions. First, the company announced the creation of BloqLabs to boost its ongoing sponsorship while bringing support to viable open-source projects in the Bitcoin and blockchain space.

Second, Bloq revealed that it will be joining the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance (EEA), an alliance that connects Fortune 500 enterprises, startups, academics and technology vendors with Ethereum thought leaders and experts. Bloq Co-Founder and CEO Jeff Garzik has been appointed to the alliance’s Technical Steering Board.

Introducing BloqLabs

According to Garzik, BloqLabs aspires to set the tone for blockchain technology, ensuring that enterprises are embracing innovations from the community’s robust ecosystem of developers.

As such, BloqLabs will support and help to develop several key projects and platforms. The initial cohort of supported projects will include Drivechain, Qtum, VeriBlock, bitcoinj and the Android Bitcoin Wallet.

“Open source is at the core of Bloq’s DNA, as both a patron and developer,” said Andreas Schildbach, developer at Bloq and the developer of the first bitcoin wallet for Android. He also maintains the bitcoinj repository primarily used in bitcoin wallets and transaction services globally. “I’m grateful for Bloq sponsoring work in open source blockchain software.”

Paul Sztorc, an economist at Bloq and chief architect behind Drivechain, concurred. “The record is clear: open source is the way to go — it’s better, faster and more secure,” he said. “I’m thrilled to have Bloq sponsor the project; few companies are this generous.”

“Businesses have been exploring blockchain technology for years now, but without widespread adoption,” said Patrick Dai, co-founder of the Qtum Project, another early recipient of BloqLabs’ support. “BloqLabs aligns with Qtum’s goal to bridge the gap between the business and technical worlds with open-source solutions that meet the commercial needs for privacy, security and, most importantly, usability.”

“BloqLabs will serve as the platform for deeper engagement between enterprises and the open source community, just like Bell Labs and Xerox Parc did for networks and technologies we use every day,” Garzik said to Bitcoin Magazine. “We’re excited to be kicking off BloqLabs with such a diverse group of projects and established leaders in bitcoin and blockchain [technology].”

Joining Forces With the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance

Further emphasizing Bloq’s commitment to broader blockchain solutions, Bloq has joined the company of Microsoft, J.P. Morgan, BNY Mellon, BG, ING, Thomson Reuters and ConsenSys, as a member of the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance. Garzik has also accepted a position on the Technical Steering Board of the alliance.

Announced on February 28, 2017, the mandate of the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance is to build, promote and broadly support Ethereum-based technology.

“Initiatives like the EEA and BloqLabs will be critical to connecting enterprises with open source blockchain innovation,” said Garzik. “We’re thrilled to contribute our time, energy and insights to this project, and I’m honored to be appointed to the Technical Steering Board.”

“Jeff [Garzik] is a legend of the open source community and has been one of the most prominent advocates for strong technical governance of public blockchains,” said Jeremy Millar, chief of staff of ConsenSys and board member of the EEA. “Combined with his experiences from the Linux Foundation, Red Hat and Bitcoin Core, Jeff is a tremendous addition to our technical leadership.”

Bloq delivers blockchain technology solutions for global enterprises. Its software platform enables companies to build, manage and scale solid blockchain-enabled ecosystems, all backed by enterprise-grade service and support.

Led by a team of world-class blockchain developers, entrepreneurs and investors, the company utilizes open-source technology, providing key linkages for secure interoperability with prevailing business systems. Its technology targets critical business issues surrounding security, provenance, authentication and reconciliation.

Over the past five months, Bloq has been in a major expansion mode, having acquired blockchain analytics pioneer Skry as well as co-launching Vulcan Digital Asset Services. The latter is a platform that gives digital assets utility for everyday banking, commerce and assets services, through PwC Australia.

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Blockchain and Food Safety

Did you know that blockchain technology is being used in food safety measures across the globe?  A platform was developed after a horse meat scandal and its goal is to transmit information to food suppliers quicker and more accurately to boost consumer confidence in products.  Learn more about this in the article from Bitcoin Magazine below.

Burgers on the Blockchain: How Tech Can Keep Food Safe

The European horsemeat scandal in 2013 sent shockwaves throughout the food industry, putting into question what we are eating and where that food came from. Now, using blockchain technology companies are tackling this issue and attempting to improve consumer confidence in the food industry to ensure authenticity in food traceability.

Exposed in mid-January 2013, Irish food inspectors announced that they had found horsemeat in frozen beef burgers made by companies in the Irish Republic and the U.K. after tests discovered horse DNA within them. It was revealed that these had been sold by several U.K. supermarket chains such as Tesco, Iceland, Aldi and Lidl, growing to include European stores including Findus and Nestle.

Unsurprisingly, the integrity of the food industry has taken a hit. Before the scandal broke, nine in ten people felt confident when purchasing food at the supermarket. Now, though, the number has dropped to seven in ten. A report from the Guardian shows that 38 percent of supermarket foods were found to be mislabeled or fraudulent, which can have long-lasting effects on the retailer’s reputation.

Furthermore, research from the World Health Organization found that 1 in 10 people in the world suffer from foodborne illnesses, 420,000 of whom die each year, many of them young children.

With offices in Edinburgh, Belfast and San Francisco, arc-net was formed following the 2013 horsemeat scandal and the subsequent Elliot government report in 2014.The platform is designed to deliver confidence in a global supply chain where producers have complete control of their brand and business. Through the establishment of stronger relationships with those in the supply chain, organizations can receive the correct information they need, ensuring that food products are 100 percent authentic and traceable.

According to research, following the horsemeat scandal, consumer trust in the food industry dropped by a quarter. Additionally, 30 percent of shoppers are now buying less processed meat, and a further 24 percent are purchasing fewer ready meals with meat in them or are opting for vegetarian dishes instead.

Speaking to Bitcoin Magazine, Sean Crossey, associate digital marketing analyst at arc-net, said that the scandal and the findings of the report brought into focus the gaps in knowledge relating to the food supply.

“As the issue of counterfeit products and fraudulent activity became more and more prevalent in our marketplace, there was a real need to address the gap in information relating to supply chain activity and brand authenticity,” he said.

A study by PwC and Safe and Secure Approaches in Field Environments (SSAFE) found last January that each year, food fraud is estimated to be a $40 billion problem worldwide. In the U.K., fraud costs the food and drink industry up to £11 billion per year ($13.6 billion), according to research by PFK Littlejohn. However, by tackling fraud, the food and drink industry could boost profits by £4.48 billion ($5.45 billion).

Furthermore, a campaign from Oceana has found that food fraud is cheating Americans out of up to $25 billion a year. As such, with the food supply chain expanding its global reach, it is becoming increasingly vulnerable to fraud.

How It Works

Through its immutable data history, the blockchain delivers openness and transparency, from creation through to consumption, for the consumer.

In the case of arc-net, analysis of a DNA sample from an animal can provide key markers, such as country of origin. A digital copy of that DNA is attached to every item or product an organization creates, bringing traceability to the item level, rather than to an entire batch, thereby allowing businesses to track each item throughout every stage of the supply chain.

That digital marker can then be cross-checked with the blockchain record to ensure the product’s authenticity throughout its lifecycle. The process allows producers to create a “chain of custody.”

Once the food lands on a retailer’s shelf, consumers can scan a QR code on the food package with their mobile phones to receive food safety information about the product, including details as to what is in the package and its origination.

“This [process] helps organizations prevent fraud while delivering total traceability, cutting the costs of product recalls and reducing process inefficiencies,” said Crossey. “It ensures that retailers can guarantee the authenticity of the food that reaches their shelves.”

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