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US mobile operator calls on Cardano

Dish Network aims to create services for 20m TV and Boost cellular subscribers

28 September 2021 Anthony Quinn 2 mins read

US mobile operator calls on Cardano

Dish Network and Input Output Global (IOG) have formed a strategic collaboration to explore using the Cardano blockchain across the Nasdaq-listed US satellite television and cellular network group. 

The two companies aim to build new services for customers of the Boost mobile network, Dish satellite TV, and Sling streaming television service. Between them, Dish has 11.4 million TV subscribers and 9.4 million wireless subscribers.

Dish announced this month it had chosen to implement IBM technology for its 5G mobile phone network, which aims to cover at least a fifth of the 383-million-strong US population by next summer.

Charles Hoskinson, chief executive of IOG, sees great potential for the use of distributed ledger technology in the telecoms industry. ‘Today, when we look at telco, we see intersections between the use of identity and the movement of data, and as Dish unleashes its next generation network, we see tremendous opportunity to move these innovations forward together.’

Dish became a nationwide wireless carrier in 2020 when it took over Boost, and is now building the first virtualized broadband network in the US, based on open radio access network (O-RAN) technology.  

Chris Ergen, head of the innovation office at Dish Wireless said: ‘Dish has always been a leader in innovation within its business and industry. With this endeavor, we find ourselves at the intersection of two rapidly changing and radically transformative industries; blockchain and telecommunications. Both ecosystems somewhat depend on each other for survival and scale, while maintaining security and privacy. 

‘It’s a really exciting time in both fields, and we’re thrilled to be working with Charles, the IOG team and the Cardano community to develop great systems that many will find useful.’ 

Dish Network was formed 1980 and listed on the Nasdaq exchange in 1995. It is now one of the 200 largest US companies by revenue in the ranking compiled by Fortune, the business magazine. ‘I see Dish as a rebel in the telco space, dating back to the early days of the company,” said Hoskinson. ‘They've gone through many iterations and innovations, and every step of the way they were always leading and transforming their entire industry.’ 

IOHK is already working to build new mobile services in Africa with World Mobile.

Catch up on all the announcements from the Cardano Summit 2021 website and IOHK’s Twitter.

Oasis Pro deal will give developing world better access to financial markets

Partnership aims to break dominance banks have on low-risk investment from primary bond markets

26 September 2021 Anthony Quinn 2 mins read

Oasis Pro deal will give developing world better access to financial markets

IOHK and Oasis Pro have formed a ground-breaking partnership to develop an alternative trading system that will use blockchain technology to open up participation in primary bond markets to developing countries.

The two companies are joining forces to create a bond issuance platform. Oasis Pro is the parent company of Oasis Pro Markets, which already operates a multi-asset alternative trading system called OATSPRO in the US. This allows secondary trading of public and private multi-asset digital securities.

The Oasis Pro technology facilitates digital cash for digital securities transactions, and the use of the Cardano blockchain to remove the need for intermediaries such as banks from the process will cut trading fees by half. The combined platform provides a viable and secure financing alternative for governments of developing nations.

With recent reductions in foreign aid and investment, many governments are struggling to access capital. The integration of OATSPRO technology with users of Cardano’s ada cryptocurrency – with a market capitalization of $70 billion – will enable a new source of foreign investment to be tapped for crucial infrastructure projects.

John O’Connor, director of African operations at IO Global, said: ‘At IO Global, our mission is to build systems which widen and democratize access to vital financial and social services, for both governments and citizens alike. This was the drive for our partnership with the Ethiopian Ministry of Education this year to bring provable educational credentials to students and teachers across the country, and it is the same for our work with Oasis.

‘Systems like the one Oasis is developing are essential to bridge the growing global investment gap and give developing nations the tools to level the playing field and invest in critical infrastructure.’

Pat LaVecchia, chief executive of Oasis, said: ‘Developing nations often lack the access to overseas capital that other nations have. We want to ensure that this changes. IO Global’s vision to democratize opportunity aligns closely with our desire to ensure access to financial markets for developing nations, and this partnership represents a key step in enabling greater accessibility to international capital markets for those that require it.’

COTI to issue Djed stablecoin on Cardano

Innovative coin for the fast-growing ecosystem announced today at Cardano Summit 2021

26 September 2021 Anthony Quinn 2 mins read

COTI to issue Djed stablecoin on Cardano

At the Cardano Summit stage in Laramie, Wyoming, on Sunday, Charles Hoskinson and Shahaf Bar-Geffen announced that the COTI platform would be the official issuer of Djed, a new stablecoin for Cardano.

Djed is based on an algorithmic design that uses smart contracts to ensure price stability. Smart contract programming is also used to ensure that the stablecoin will work effectively for decentralized finance (DeFi) transactions. 

Djed operates by maintaining a reserve of base coins, while minting and burning various other stable assets and reserve coins. It is designed to be used for paying transaction fees on the Cardano network. One benefit of this is to make transaction costs more predictable, so avoiding volatile and exorbitant gas fees for users. 

The COTI development team believes that stablecoins are a 'killer app' that will be adopted by a large number of crypto users for settling payments and covering fees. The company was the first recipient of equity investment from the cFund for Cardano developments. 

Shahaf Bar-Geffen, chief executive of COTI Group, said: 'The stablecoin ecosystem has matured tremendously over the past few years. Blockchain participants are using stablecoins to engage in everyday transactions because they allow monetary value to be exchanged in a seamless manner, regardless of the sender and recipient’s location.

'I believe that adding the Djed stablecoin to the Cardano blockchain will significantly improve how transactions are settled on the platform.' 

IO Global chief executive Charles Hoskinson said: 'The Djed stablecoin could be a game-changer in the crypto space, appealing to an entirely new audience at a time when the industry is already experiencing astronomical growth. Djed shares our commitment to formal verification, proving a robust method of combating price volatility of crypto markets.

'COTI has been a long-time partner of the Cardano ecosystem. It’s great to have them on board with this new venture.'

Check out the Djed website.

Cardano fund injecting $6m to support Africa’s pioneers

Investment will help entrepreneurs capitalize on lack of barriers from legacy infrastructure

25 September 2021 Anthony Quinn 2 mins read

Cardano fund injecting $6m to support Africa’s pioneers

A new fund in Africa is investing $6m to finance the most innovative blockchain projects on the continent. The fund was created in recognition of the unique opportunities for innovation in Africa, which has the highest percentage of entrepreneurs of any continent

The fund focuses on blockchain technology because the lack of deeply embedded legacy infrastructure means that African governments and businesses have fewer obstacles to adopting next-generation technology than the West. This opportunity can potentially level the global playing field when it comes to offering game-changing blockchain-based products and services. 

The unique fund will offer capital to the most innovative African start-ups wishing to build on Cardano, the third-largest blockchain platform. IOHK will ensure successful projects benefit from teaching, financing, and sustained support in partnership with the fund.

IOHK works across the continent providing education and innovation in formal programming techniques. The company has a strong presence in Ethiopia – and is currently rolling out a system for verifiable education credentials to five million students and teachers in partnership with the Ethiopian government.  

Having been embedded in Africa for five years and in collaboration with investment and education companies on the ground, IOHK will be well placed to ensure that the projects most needed for the region’s development get the funding and support they require. 

John O’Connor, director of African operations, said: ‘Working with businesses in Africa I have encountered the most inspirational entrepreneurial spirit. At Input Output we believe in democratizing opportunity, which means giving equal access to funding to realize these innovative ideas, solving problems across the world.

 ‘This investment project marks a milestone in Input Output’s African development, enabling young ideas to flourish and capitalize on the opportunities provided by blockchain.’

Luxury spirits brand chooses Cardano to verify alcohol supply chain

25 September 2021 Anthony Quinn 2 mins read

Luxury spirits brand chooses Cardano to verify alcohol supply chain

Strait Brands, an Australian luxury spirits company, is embracing a blockchain-first approach to managing its alcohol supply chain. Set to deliver four million bottles before the end of 2022, the business will build its production process around the Cardano platform. 

The partnership will see Strait Brands deploy a tamper-proof software system created by Input Output using Atala SCAN, which can record and store data securely and instantly verify the origins of products throughout the supply chain. 

Philip Ridyard, founder of Strait Brands, said: 'Strait Brands is embarking on large-scale international distribution and, conscious of the challenges the industry faces, we decided to take a blockchain-first approach to production, ensuring industry-leading levels of safety and verifiability in our supply chain.

'Input Output is an essential partner in Strait Brands' pioneering movements in the alcohol industry, protecting the integrity of Strait vodkas, gins, and our new super-premium range, Badger Head.'

Fraud is a growing problem for the alcohol industry. Counterfeited, mislabeled, substituted or diluted products worth upwards of $40 billion a year are making their way to consumers. 

Atala SCAN is reshaping the way the alcohol industry combats counterfeit products. By storing an authentic and secure record of ingredients throughout the production process, it can eradicate the possibility of either counterfeit or hazardous substances making their way onto the shelves.

SCAN is part of Input Output's Atala suite, which is already being used in the biggest blockchain partnership yet seen. The pioneering project with the Ethiopian education industry will provide five million pupils with instantly verifiable digital identities. These will be used to verify grades, monitor school performance and boost education and employment nationwide.