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Public Announcements

Weekly Twitter Summary (2018-05-20 – 2018-05-26)

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Weekly Twitter Summary (2018-05-13 – 2018-05-19)

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Addressing the identity management issue we’ve grown too accustomed to

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By Vasiliy Suvorov, Vice President of Technology Strategy at Luxoft, Vice President, Crypto Valley Association

Today’s identity management poses a problem. Highly centralized and siloed, it forces us to create new accounts, provide personal details, and generate login credentials each time we decide to consume services from a different provider. At the same time, we blindly trust each service provider to manage the provided data carefully, hoping hackers will not steal it. This forces companies to become identity and security experts in order to avoid any security breaches, taking on an unnecessary financial burden and deviating funds that could be used elsewhere.

We’ve just grown too accustomed to it – and that needs to change.

One way to tackle this issue would be to decentralize identity management, which gives identity ownership and control to individuals. A connected identity system would enable any person, organization, or thing (IoT) to have an identity relationship with another – without authorization from a third party.

The above presents the idea ofself-sovereign identity (SSI), where anyone can use these identities and the resulting relationships without an intervening authority.

Introducing the Sovrin Foundation, Crypto Valley Association and Luxoft

The Sovrin Foundationis a non-profit organization that launched and oversees a specialized global distributed ledger: a blockchain that enables SSI. It provides the basis for easier and more secure identity management and new, more democratic decentralized business models.

Similarly, the Crypto Valley Association (CVA)is an independent, government-supported group aimed at building a thriving blockchain ecosystem in Switzerland – a country known for its strong, direct democracy, personal privacy and innovation.

When we first learned about Sovrin’s technology and mission, it was clear Sovrin’s goals, Swiss values and the CVA’s objectives aligned fundamentally. Through our Technology Working Group, we reached out and started to explore ways to enable Sovrin’s blockchain in Switzerland and explore various use cases that would benefit CVA’s members and the overall Swiss ecosystem. As a result, we announced an official partnership in 2017.

Initially, the partnership focused on operating the first “validator node” – nodes that achieve consensus – of the Sovrin ledger in Switzerland. Two of the founding members of CVA, Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts (HSLU),and Luxoft worked together to make it possible. The dedicated server running Sovrin’s node is hosted in an award-winning, minimum energy design data center facility of HSLU in Luzern, and is operated jointly by the experts of HSLU’s Department of Informatics and Luxoft. The teams are now exploring self-sovereign identity use cases and are working on onboarding new applications.

Blockchain for e-government…and beyond

Ever since the announcement of the partnership, the Swiss blockchain ecosystem has developed more rapidly than ever before. Governments across the federal, cantonal and city levels have expressed support and announced plans to make blockchain technology an integral part of Switzerland’s future. Projects on implementing electronic Identity, company registration and even eVoting on blockchain technology are well under way.

All these applications require a robust identity management foundation that is secure, scalable and futureproof – which blockchain can provide.

More and more frequent breaches of personal data are reported each day, even though the data is stored in supposedly “safe” central systems. And revelations on non-transparent and unexpected (and often not consented to) use of our online data accumulated by multiple centralized web businesses makes the need for SSI even more urgent. As we head into the future, I hope more will understand the identity management issue so teams can take on many more projects – in order to give the power of identity ownership back to the people.

Be sure to join us at the Crypto Valley Conference June 20-22 and learn how you can use decentralized identity management and other applications of blockchain and distributed ledger technologies to their full potential.

 

 

Crypto Valley Association Announces Strategic Partnership with Lakestar, Unlocking Technology Scaling Expertise For Members

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Lakestar to chair new “Venture Building” Working Group

Zug, Switzerland – 14 May 2018 – The Crypto Valley Association (CVA), a leading global blockchain and cryptographic technology ecosystem, has announced that Lakestar, one of Europe’s foremost venture capital firms, is joining the CVA as a Strategic Partner.

Lakestar will chair the CVA’s new “Venture Building” working group – which shall consist of a team of experts drawn from the blockchain and broader technology sectors – and share its experience in identifying and scaling technology companies led by exceptional entrepreneurs. The Lakestar team has previously invested in category leaders such as Skype, Spotify, Facebook and airbnb. Since raising two funds with an aggregate volume of approx. EUR 500 million in 2013 and 2015, Lakestar has expanded and broadened its portfolio, with more recent investments in Harry’s, Opendoor, GoEuro, FiveAI, Revolut, Blockchain.com and Shapeshift.io.

Through its partnership with Lakestar, the CVA will greatly benefit in its work as an independent, nonprofit association building one of the world’s leading blockchain and cryptographic ecosystems. The CVA will gain valuable insight into how to identify, support, and effectively scale promising and innovative members of its startup community – drawing upon Lakestar’s experience in creating real world traction at scale by numerous companies in Switzerland, Europe, and internationally.

The CVA will provide Lakestar with greater access to its ecosystem and startup community, including a deeper understanding of the problems which innovators within the blockchain sector are attempting to solve.

Oliver Bussmann, President of the CVA, commented: “We are proud to welcome Lakestar as a Strategic Partner to our Association. Their experience of investing in and assisting technology entrepreneurs effectively scale and internationalise will provide unique insight to support the work of the CVA and our members.”

Nicolas Brand, Partner at Lakestar, said: “The world is going through a digital revolution and blockchain technology is at the forefront of this change, challenging the model of the internet itself. We see great synergy between our proven track record of building global, digital leaders and the work of the CVA’s blockchain-focused teams. We look forward to working with the CVA and its members in supporting some of Crypto Valley’s most exciting projects.”

“The CVA has grown significantly in the past year. By expanding our network to include the expertise of companies such as Lakestar, which boasts an exceptional client portfolio, we will further strengthen our foundation and enhance our service offering to our members,” Bussmann concluded.

For more information visit https://cryptovalley.swiss/and http://lakestar.com/

###

About Crypto Valley Association:

Founded in January 2017, Crypto Valley Association is a non-profit association, with over 600 members, established to support the development and dissemination of cryptographic technologies, blockchain, and other distributed ledger technologies by supporting startups and other companies in Zug, Switzerland and internationally. Crypto Valley’s mission is to shape an open, free, and prosperous economy spanning multiple sectors.

Board members of the Crypto Valley Association are:

Oliver Bussmann, Founder & Managing Partner Bussmann Advisory; Vasily Suvorov, Vice President Technology Strategy Luxoft; Professor René Huesler, Director of the Lucerne School of Information Technology, Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts; Sam Chadwick, Director Financial & Risk Innovation Thomson Reuters; Søren Fog, CEO iProtus.

About Lakestar:

Lakestar is one of Europe’s leading venture capital firms investing in technology companies led by exceptional entrepreneurs. Early investments included Skype, Spotify, Facebook and airbnb. Since raising two funds with an aggregate volume of approx. EUR 500m in 2013 and 2015, Lakestar has expanded and broadened its portfolio, with more recent investments in Harry’s, Opendoor, Blockchain.com, GoEuro, FiveAI and Revolut.

Lakestar is on the ground in Berlin, London and Zurich and helps companies to identify new markets and expand into them rapidly, with a focus on the US and Europe. We advise and support portfolio companies in business development, recruitment, technology and marketing. Our investments range from early stage companies to those in their growth stage.

Media Contact:

Liam Murphy

Account Supervisor // Wachsman

Liam@wachsman.com // +353 87 119 2107

Blockchain and Indoor Farming can Help Feed Nine Billion People

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By Erhan Cakmak, CEO and co-founder, Pavo

By 2050, the world’s population will exceed 9 billion people, some 20 percent higher than today. Most of this population increase will occur in rapidly-urbanizing developing countries. About 70 percent of the world’s population will be urban by 2050, compared to roughly half today. To feed this larger, more urban, and richer population, food production must increase by 70 percent. Annual cereal production will need to rise 50% to support population growth, despite the fact that yield growth has been steadily declining. Blockchain-enabled applications will play an important role in addressing this challenge.

This has important implications for Turkey’s agriculture industry; the majority of Turkish people still work, one way or another, in agriculture. Like the United States and Canada, Turkey, thanks to its fertile soil, favorable climate and plentiful rainfall, is food self-sufficient. Some 36 percent of the country is arable land, and Turkey is the world’s biggest producer of hazelnuts, figs, apricots and raisins and the fourth largest producer of fresh vegetables and grapes. The Turkish government has set a goal for 2023 of USD 40 billion in annual agriculture exports. The country has a significant role to play in addressing coming global food and caloric demand challenges, and technology can help.

Food supply chains are inefficient and suffer from quality control problems, especially in developing nations. One of the clearest real-world applications of blockchain technology is to add greater visibility and efficiency across supply chains. Although agriculture is a $5.5 trillion-dollar global business, employing over a billion people, it remains highly inefficient. For many smallholder farmers in developing countries, affordable access to capital remains a huge challenge.

Blockchain solutions can solve these financing difficulties. As it stands, farmers often wait weeks or months for payment after delivery, forcing them to deal with large incumbents with greater bargaining power. This directly translates to lower income for farmers, as they do not receive their fair share despite being the most important part of the chain.

Further, as the world urbanizes and becomes more conscious of the carbon footprint of transporting goods over long distances, indoor farming is playing an increasing role. Blockchain solutions and smart contracts allow for careful management of water and energy. Automated data collection and analysis creates the ability to better manage crop inputs, like water and energy, and corresponding automation of indoor farming operations. For example, a farmer using indoor hydroponics and a closed loop system may be able to reduce water usage by up to 90 percent. Increasingly, global food demands will be met by crops grown indoors, in environments more efficient and more controlled than the outdoors. By moving plants indoors, traditional dependence on the weather can be eliminated. With sensor arrays, plants can “communicate” precisely what they need 24/7.

Blockchain solutions and the “Internet of Things” (IoT) will save time and money for farmers, and increase yields. Despite a common belief that farmers are slow to adapt, they have always been eager adopters of technologies that make sense and deliver genuine value. Data democratization of the food chain will increase efficiencies, reduce waste, and increasingly transfer remuneration to the stakeholders delivering the greatest value.

Blockchain solutions allow to build a new model of trust in agricultural supply chains. Under the old Information Technology paradigm, agricultural, environmental, and regulatory data is stored on centralized computer servers, and managed by administrators trusted to maintain data integrity, security and access authorization.

This centralized data administration is a source of risk – crop safety and quality data can easily be corrupted. Data can be lost due to failed or absent backups. Centralized administrators may act on their own agendas, with their own interests in mind, impacting decisions related to data access and security.

Applying blockchain technology to crop data ensures that information about our food and its sources is incorruptible. Blockchain and IoT technology simplifies data management throughout the complex system of farmers, brokers, distributors, processors, retailers, regulators, and consumers. Information on the food we eat becomes simplified and transparent. Consumers can enjoy greater trust in the food they put on their table and regulatory agencies gain greater confidence in the data reported to them.

Blockchain redefines trust across the agriculture spectrum with arm’s length cryptographic security, eliminating any potential pursuits of self-interest on the part of data administrators or other actors.

Blockchain enables real-time payments, concurrent with delivery, and better visibility to buyers, leveling the playing field for farmers. Farmers get paid sooner, and increased competition for their crops raises the prices they receive while simultaneously helping consumers to pay lower prices for food through a much more transparent, secure and environmentally sustainable supply chain.

 

Weekly Twitter Summary (2018-05-06 – 2018-05-12)

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Crypto Valley Design Competition

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Crypto Valley Design Competition

With the Crypto Valley Conference coming soon, we are looking to create a a couple of unique and exclusive designs that can be used for t-shirts, hoodies and other merchandise.

While the team has their own ideas on the designs, which range from outrageous to really quite boring, we thought it would be nice to open up the opportunity to both members and non-members, with the prize being tickets to the upcoming conference, for those that might want to win the chance to attend but otherwise could not.  (And if the winner has already bought their ticket, we’ll refund the cost).

Feel free to feature HODLing, mooning, lambos, unicorns, ICOs or any other buzzwords you want!

Deadline and Prizes

On June 1st, we’ll be selecting our favourite 3 and each of the winners will get a free ticket to the Crypto Valley Conference on June 20-22 in Zug worth CHF 1,300 each and a T-shirt with their design on it.

Submit Now

Submission Process and Rules

  • You can upload a maximum of 10 submissions.  If you submit more than 10, we will delete subsequent submissions.
  • Designs must be in EPS or PNG format.  Other files types will be deleted.
  • Include your name as part of the filename, so we know who submitted it.
  • If you are not a Crypto Valley member, after you have submitted, send us a message via Contact Us so we have your contact details.

Upload your designs to:
https://www.dropbox.com/request/lMvh5HbZ0U8iP8R2eAtH

The Small Print

Term

The Crypto Valley Design Competition (the “Contest”) begins May 10, 2018 at 12:00:00 p.m. Central European Time (“CET”) and ends May 31, 2018, 12:00:00 p.m. Central European Time (“CET”). Information on how to enter and prizes form part of these rules. This is a skill-based contest and chance plays no part in the determination of winners.

Who may enter

Contest is open to members and non-members of the Crypto Valley Association (CVA) but only to individuals who have reached the age of majority in their jurisdiction of residence at the time of entry and who do NOT reside in Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Sudan or Syria.

License

By entering the Contest, all entrants grant an irrevocable, perpetual, worldwide non-exclusive license to the CVA, to reproduce, distribute, display and create derivative works of the entries (along with a name credit) in connection with the Contest and promotion of the Contest, in any media now or hereafter known, for no additional compensation, including, but not limited to: online highlighting entries or winners of the Contest and use of the entries on merchandise. Entrants consent to the CVA doing or omitting to do any act that would otherwise infringe the entrant’s “moral rights” in their entries. The CVA will not be required to pay any additional consideration or seek any additional approval in connection with such use as authorized by the License.

Limitation of liability

By entering this Contest, all entrants agree to release, discharge, and hold harmless the CVA and its partners, affiliates, subsidiaries, advertising agencies, agents and their employees, officers, directors, and representatives from any claims, losses, and damages arising out of their participation in this Contest or any Contest-related activities and the acceptance and use, misuse, or possession of any prize awarded hereunder.

The CVA assumes no responsibility for any error, omission, interruption, deletion, defect, or delay in operation or transmission; communications line failure; theft or destruction of or unauthorized access to Contest entries or entry forms; or alteration of entries or entry forms. The CVA is not responsible for any problems with or technical malfunction of any telephone network or lines, computer online systems, servers or providers, computer equipment, software, failure of any entry to be received on account of technical problems or traffic congestion on the Internet or at any website, human errors of any kind, or any combination thereof, including any injury or damage to entrants’ or any other persons’ computers related to or resulting from participation, uploading or downloading of any materials related to in this Contest.

In the case of entrants who are Australian or UK residents, the preceding two clauses do not operate in respect of any implied condition or warranty the exclusion of which from these rules would contravene any Australian or UK statute or cause any part of these rules to be void.

Conditions

THIS CONTEST IS VOID WHERE PROHIBITED. Entrants agree that this Contest shall be subject to and governed by the laws of Switzerland. To the extent permitted by law, the right to litigate, to seek injunctive relief or to make any other recourse to judicial or any other procedure in case of disputes or claims resulting from or in connection with this Contest are hereby excluded and any entrant expressly waives any and all such rights. Certain restrictions may apply. Entries are void if CVA determines the entry to not be an original, or if the entries are incomplete, inaccessible or blocked, corrupted, damaged, irregular, altered, counterfeit, produced in error or obtained through fraud or theft.

CVA reserves the right to verify the validity and originality of any entry and/or entrant (including an entrant’s identity and address) and to disqualify any entrant who submits an entry that is not in accordance with these rules or who tampers with the entry process. Failure by CVA to enforce any of its rights at any stage does not constitute a waiver of those rights.

Right to cancel or suspend contest

If for any reason the Contest is not capable of running as planned, due to infection by computer virus, bugs, worms, trojan horses, denial of service attacks, tampering, unauthorized intervention, fraud, technical failures, or any other causes beyond the control of CVA that corrupt or affect the administration, security, fairness, integrity, or proper conduct of this Contest, CVA reserves the right, at its sole discretion, to disqualify any individual(s) who tamper with the entry process, and/or to cancel, terminate, modify, or suspend the Contest. If CVA elects to cancel or terminate the Contest, CVA will not retain any rights in the submitted photographs, and will return the fees submitted with each entry.

Data privacy

Entrants agree that personal data, especially name and address, may be processed, shared, and otherwise used for the purposes and within the context of the Contest. The data may also be used by CVA in order to verify the entrant’s identity, postal address, and telephone number or to otherwise verify the entrant’s eligibility to participate in the Contest. Entrants have the right to access, review, rectify, or cancel any personal data held by CVA by writing to CVA.

Weekly Twitter Summary (2018-04-29 – 2018-05-05)

By | Public Announcements

CVA joins BMW, GM, Ford and others in Mobility Open Blockchain Initiative

By | Member News, Public Announcements

Today the Mobility Open Blockchain Initiative (MOBI) announced “its formation to explore blockchain for use in a new digital mobility ecosystem that could make transportation safer, more affordable, and more widely accessible. MOBI is actively working with companies accounting for over 70% of global vehicle production in terms of market share.”

The consortium’s goal is to “foster an ecosystem where businesses and consumers have security and sovereignty over their driving data, manage ride-share and car-share transactions, and store vehicle identity and usage information.”

The CVA is a founding member of the consortium, joining the likes of BMW, Bosch, Ford, General Motors, Groupe Renault, ZF, Aioi Nissay Dowa Insurance Services USA and many others in this important industry effort.

More information in the press release.

You can also check out the MOBI website.

 

Weekly Twitter Summary (2018-04-22 – 2018-04-28)

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