In October 2018, Cointelegraph reported that Australia’s New South Wales Land Registry Services engaged with blockchain technology provider ChromaWay to develop a DLT-based proof-of-concept for electronic property conveyancing.
The Real Estate Institute of Queensland (REIQ) teamed up with local tech startup Igloo to launch a blockchain-based tenancy agreement platform by the end of 2019.
As news outlet ZDNet reported on Sept. 15, REIQ general manager Josh Callaghan stated that the new platform will use smart contracts to create “a simple and secure transaction for each tenancy agreement to leverage the benefits of the technology as an irrefutable source of truth”, adding:
“All parties will have visibility over the contract at any time from the palm of their hand. By executing as a smart contract, we’re also able to build out the functionality to handle payments of bond and rent, plus facilitate other activities related to the property such as routine inspections and maintenance.”
Painting a bigger picture
According to Callaghan, the new platform would allow tenants to rent a property in a more transparent and easier way and simultaneously create a real-time view of the state’s rental market. He continued:
“The instant a tenancy agreement is signed, we will know how much a property was rented for, how long the agreement is for, how long it was vacant and so on, which will give the REIQ unprecedented insights into rental market trends as it happens.”
Previously, it was also reported that the Australian Securities Exchange intends to apply blockchain to its registry, settlement and clearing systems in 2021.
Blockchain Gives ‘Illusion of Traceability’ for Walmart
Experts allege the biggest hurdle facing the blockchain systems being adopted by food retail giants such as Walmart and Nestlé has nothing to do with the technology itself.
In an interview with Tech Wire Asia, published on Nov. 7, Craig Heraghty – Agribusiness Leader at “Big Four” auditor PwC – reflected on the rising trend of blockchain among major retailers globally. He argued that:
“The weakest link in the chain is not blockchain or any technology, the weakest link is the piece of sticky tape that puts the label on the package. You have to think like a fraudster and see where you can copy a label or a QR code.”
“A worrying trend”
Heraghty contended that blockchain is a potential concern insofar as it gives an “illusion of traceability” to supermarket chains and consumers, given that while the data record itself may be tamper-proof, physical points of entry aren’t necessarily foolproof.
Beyond this point, Heraghty didn’t have a solution other than to stress that the onus remains on enterprises to bear the responsibility to try to protect their systems against vulnerability to fraud by dishonest saboteurs.
Food retail giants still keen
As reported, Walmart’s wide-ranging pursuit of blockchain-related projects has to date focused on using the technology in areas such as supply chain management, customer marketplaces and smart appliances.
Most recently, it filed a patent for a potential digital currency that would form part of a blockchain-based service ecosystem and could support an “open-platform value exchange for purchases and for crowdsource work.”
Switzerland-headquartered food retail giant Nestlé has recently admitted some of the challenges it faces with its own blockchain venture, noting it had to adopt a “start-up mindset” in order to push ahead with its digital transformation ambitions.
This summer, Nestlé Australia’s “Chain of Origin” initiative to implement blockchain technology for supply chain management was nominated for an award by United States-based market intelligence firm, the International Data Corporation.
The project aims to enable Nestlé customers to track their products using blockchain in a bid to provide more transparent information about their provenance and production.
PundiX’s Blockchain Phone Is Now Called BOB and Its Coming Soon
The blockchain phone from PundiX, in the works for a year now, is almost ready for launch.
The company put the latest iteration on show at the IFA 2019 event in Berlin this week and has revealed to CoinDesk that the device is planned to go on pre-order in Q4 2019 at a price of $599 via Kickstarter and PundiX’s XWallet.
In a statement, the firm said the phone – now officially called “Blok on Blok”, or BOB – will have all data executed over its Function X blockchain system, with no centralized service providers storing users’ private information.
BOB will allow users to switch between PundiX’s blockchain OS, which powers the decentralized services, and Android.
It will also be customizable. PundiX says the phone will come with a “MOD Assembly Kit”, with detachable parts that allow buyers to modify the device’s external look.
Zac Cheah, co-founder and CEO of Pundi X, said:
“BOB marks a big step forward in our mission of creating a Blockchain Internet, a fully decentralized network where every piece of data shared is under the owner’s control. More importantly, BOB gives a sneak peek of a world powered entirely by blockchain technology, where everyone has control over their own data and everything is executed with the expectations of immutability and transparency.”
BOB will further allow the use of decentralized apps (dapps) and access to blockchain services, as well as supporting the Function X network by acting as a node on the blockchain.
PundiX said the initial batch will see a production run of 5,000 units, which it is considering prototypes before a planned full retail launch.
The reveal of PundiX’s device comes as several major players are said to be launching their own blockchain phones.
LG is said to be close to the launch of a device, as reported on Sept. 10, while HTC apparently has one in the works. Samsung and crypto exchange Huobi have both already launched phones for the crypto and blockchain space.