All three future network maintainers are EOS BPs while Bitfinex is also a major and well-known cryptocurrency exchange.

Blockchain-based PC games distribution platform Ultra.io has announced on Oct. 2 that its first three block producers (BPs) are Bitfinex, EOS Rio and EOS New York.

Making the gaming industry fairer

Per the announcement, the three entities will help Ultra optimize its blockchain and will allow the firm to launch its public testnet followed by the mainnet.

The startup claims that its platform enables a higher degree of fairness in the gaming industry by employing “programmable and instant money, tradability of games and in-game assets with” non-fungible tokens.

Ultra’s chief technology officer Michael Dunn added:

“When considering how best to launch and support Ultra mainnet, we sought out a mix of trusted technical partners from within the EOSIO community and established corporate partners from the technology and video-games industries to work with us as block producers. Our initial technical block producers have worked with us on our chain design, development and performance. We value their trust, expertise and ongoing support.”

Corporate BPs to be announced

The company also notes that – in addition to helping with blockchain optimization – the three technical BPs will also provide their expertise on corporate recruitment.

Lastly, at a later stage Ultra promises to announce some new corporate BPs that are “trusted companies outside of the crypto world.”

As Cointelegraph recently reported, blockchain and artificial intelligence firm Animoca Brands has entered into a partnership with sports management company Dorna Sports to develop a blockchain-based official MotoGP manager game.

300cubits, a Blockchain Shipping Pioneer, Gives up on Its TEU Token

300cubits, an early innovator in using blockchain for international container shipping, has pulled the plug on its TEU token, citing lack of business.

“The transaction volume through the system have been far from commercial”, the company wrote in a Sept. 30 statement. “Only a couple hundred containers have gone through the system, which, although may seems plenty among the shipping blockchain projects, is not sufficient to keep the system going commercially.”

The TEU – a play on Twenty-foot Equivalent Unit, the standard unit of measure in container shipping – was issued in an initial coin offering (ICO) in early 2018 and designated as the medium of exchange for the company’s Booking Deposit Module.

Customers, who were given the tokens, would use the TEU to book container space with participating shippers. It was expected that the TEU would have some value and thus solve booking problems that have plagued the container market. Customers would be disinclined to cancel orders, and the shippers would be less likely to overbook their ships.

Trials were conducted in March 2018, and the system went live in July 2018, but interest was limited and few transactions were actually achieved. Sealand – the Florida-based Maersk Group company – Beijing-based Cosco, and Geneva-based MSC tested the TEU, according to the statement, and 300cubits was in discussion with a number of other major shippers.

The company said regulatory issues were a major impediment. Many potential clients backed off given uncertainty as to how the relevant authorities would treat the token. Liquidity and volatility were also said to cause concern among potential customers, while the main selling points of blockchain – immutability and anonymity – did not resonate with or were seen as problems by the market.

300cubits will burn at least 75 percent of the TEU tokens and will continue to burn them as they are returned, according to the statement, and Hong Kong-based company will continue to pursue other blockchain-related opportunities.

Solutions for container booking no-shows, so-called downfalls, have been instituted by the shippers themselves and by the New York Shipping Exchange (NYSHEX), which offers enforceable freight contracts on its platform.

Blockchain is being used in the sector, but in other ways. Most notably, IBM and Maersk are developing TradeLens, a blockchain-based system that allows for the real-time sharing of shipping data between parties connected in a supply chain.

Æternity Blockchain Brings ‘Liquid Democracy’ to Uruguay

Open source decentralized application (DApp)-focused blockchain Æternity will team up with the Uruguay Digital Party to optimize the country’s democratic processes and internal voting.

According to a press release shared with Cointelegraph on Oct. 3, the partnership aims to build a new system whereby Uruguay citizens and members of the Digital Party can participate in various political decisions in a transparent and decentralized manner.

Unalterable liquid democracy

Per the release, the first phase of the project will focus on creating a DApp based on the “liquid democracy” model that employs digital tokens and a basic set of smart contracts that the Digital Party will use for its internal governance.

The party also plans to develop a secure and transparent database using a technological solution “for the collection and validation of adherent identities.” Pablo Coirolo, CEO of Æternity Americas, added:

“The application of democratic governance that will be implemented by the Digital Party is based on the internal governance solution that aeternity uses for internal community decision-making, which is a completely new architecture, allowing greater participation of citizens in political decisions at all levels, with unalterable reliability.”

Established in 2013, the Digital Party’s representatives also claim that it is “the first political party focused on bringing the digital era to the political sphere of Uruguay.”

Democracy and cannabis decentralized

As Cointelegraph reported on Sept. 25, Æternity blockchain also will be used to track the supply chain of Montevideo-based medical and recreational cannabis producer Uruguay Can.

Uruguay became the world’s first country to completely legalize cannabis production and sale in December 2013.

The first phase of supply chain management system implementation will take place in October and is expected to be completed in January 2020. Full implementation is planned for mid-2021.

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