Blockchain and cryptocurrency industries just had their two important firsts: a blockchain-powered shipment from South Korea to the Netherlands has been successfully completed, while the first crypto hedge fund has won approval from UK authorities.
The shipment – made from a port in South Korea and arriving at Tilburg, in North Brabant, the Netherlands – is the first known East Asia-Europe blockchain shipment, and likely no other blockchain-powered cargo delivery has traveled quite as far.
The international consortium responsible for the shipment comprises Samsung SDS, the IT services arm of the Samsung Group, as well as Dutch bank ABN AMRO and the blockchain-keen Port of Rotterdam. The shipment was delivered to warehouses owned by Samsung SDS’ European subsidy. As previously reported, Samsung SDS developed the Deliver platform that allows it to “link” blockchain platforms. The company says that Deliver allowed both the Korea Customs Service (which uses the Hyperledger Fabric platform), and Rotterdam authorities (who use the Ethereum platform) to work on the shipment.
A Port of Rotterdam press release claimed,
“As demonstrated in a Proof of Concept (PoC), a comprehensive supply chain management system with paperless integration of physical, administrative and financial flows is now truly feasible.”
The consortium now states that it intends to “conduct pilot projects with multiple shippers from various industries operating in different trade lanes.”
In September 2017, Samsung SDS teamed up with Hyundai Merchant Marine, IBM, the Korea Customs Service and South Korea’s Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries to conduct the world’s first-ever blockchain shipment – a cargo delivery from a port in South Korea to a Chinese destination.
As reported earlier today, Samsung SDS is also planning to commercialize its blockchain operations in South Korea as of next month.
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In May this year, Maersk and IBM successfully conducted a shipment from Rotterdam that arrived at a port in Saudi Arabia.
In another historic first for the blockchain and cryptocurrency sector, Bloomberg reports that British regulators have given the green light to Prime Factor Capital, a hedge fund management company that focuses on cryptocurrencies.
The move marks the first time such a company has won approval from UK authorities, where many regulated firms have so far shied away from crypto investment offerings.
Bloomberg quotes Prime Factor Capital’s COO Adam Grimsley as stating that the company is “required to appoint an independent depository to provide oversight, cash flow reconciliation and the safekeeping of assets.”
“Most vehicles for investing in cryptocurrencies are outside the scope of regulators and that’s a big problem in a market that has such a bad reputation.”