NOVEMBER 15: WHAT HAPPENED IN BLOCKCHAIN THIS WEEK?

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Swiss blockchain start-ups head to the Singapore Fintech Festival; SEBA Bank now accepts clients from Switzerland; Novartis ramps up focus on blockchain; and the ambitious plan to bring Bitcoin to the masses in Switzerland.
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November 15: What happened in blockchain this week?
Swiss blockchain start-ups head to the Singapore Fintech Festival; SEBA Bank now accepts clients from Switzerland; Novartis ramps up focus on blockchain; and the ambitious plan to bring Bitcoin to the masses in Switzerland.

Novartis to go live with blockchain projects in 2020
Swiss pharmaceutical giant Novartis will ramp up its focus on blockchain in 2020. “We are now at the point where we say, we want to go live,” says blockchain lead Marco Cuomo. The company will start by digitizing manual processes to increase efficiency. Novartis is also leading a blockchain healthcare consortium as part of the Innovative Medicines Initiative. So far, 28 entities are onboard including 11 pharma companies.

Nov. 8: What happened in blockchain this week?
Wecan Tokenize closes sale of Lisbon properties for 11 million euros through digital tokens, Swiss-Singaporean start-up Rice Exchange links up with Fujitsu to tackle the rice trade, and the Bank for International Settlements discusses the e-franc, central bank digital currencies and Libra.

Bank for International Settlements: Libra needs to make a better case
The Basel-based Bank for International Settlements is the bank of central banks. General manager Agustín Carstens sits down to discuss central bank digital currencies and why there’s no “clear case” for an e-franc in Switzerland. On Libra, Carsten says it is a “provocative proposition” but that it still needs to build a better case to convince the BIS.

Nov. 1: What happened in blockchain this week?
Here’s what happened in blockchain in Switzerland this week. The Swiss Blockchain Federation celebrates its first anniversary; Sygnum gets the go-ahead in Singapore; and a new contender eyes the Swiss banking sector.

Swiss Blockchain Federation: 2020 will be challenging
The Swiss Blockchain Federation is celebrating its first anniversary. The organization focuses on promoting Switzerland’s blockchain hub, which stretches from Ticino to Geneva. Its co-founders Mathias Ruch and Lorenz Furrer discuss Libra and express concern over a lack of funding for blockchain start-ups and self-promotion. “We have a lot of competitors all over the world,” says Furrer. “We have to fight for our position.”

Oct. 25: What happened in blockchain this week?
Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg on Capitol Hill discusses Libra; SIX talks about the future of its Swiss digital exchange; and Crypto Valley expands from Zug to Vaduz, Liechtenstein.

SIX Digital Exchange: “From absolutely nothing to over 120 employees”
SIX is pushing ahead with the 2020 rollout of its digital assets exchange, maintaining that it is “reasonably on track” with a team over 100 people. Thomas Zeeb, head securities and exchanges, discusses regulatory roadblocks, partnership with the Swiss National Bank, and why they’re eyeing assets like art and wine. He also predicts that it will be at least a decade before SIX looks into “decommissioning” its traditional exchange. “And in our world at the moment,” he says, “that’s a heck of a long time.”

Oct. 18: What happened in blockchain this week?
Here’s what happened in blockchain in Switzerland this week. PostFinance and Energie Wasser Bern turn to blockchain to make electricity billing easier; Geneva trader MKS is behind a new gold-backed token; and 21 founding members sign the Libra charter in Geneva.

UNICEF targets USD 25 million in new cryptocurrency fund
The United Nations Children’s Fund is the latest organization to accept crypto donations. The Swiss-based Ethereum Foundation made the first donation of 100 Ether and 1 Bitcoin. Christopher Fabian from UNICEF Innovation says the new crypto fund is targeting USD 25 million but admits philanthropy and blockchain is still a niche.