Does the Metaverse need blockchain to ensure widespread adoption?

Many assume, too, that blockchain technology will play a key role in the Metaverse, along with other emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) and virtual reality (VR). But, is the use of blockchain really a foregone conclusion?Stanford University professor Jeremy Bailenson recently moderated a World Economic Forum panel with some of the world’s leading thinkers of the Metaverse and blockchain. “The first question posed to the panel was ‘Do we need the blockchain for the metaverse?’” Bailenson, founder of Stanford’s Virtual Human Interaction Lab, recounted to Cointelegraph. “The consensus was that the Metaverse could exist without blockchain.” As an example, Bailenson offered up metaverse pioneer Second Life, founded in 2003, which has 70 million current registered accounts and is adding another 350,000 new accounts each month to its online multimedia platform. Second Life has developed “a robust economy where digital assets are bought and sold,” said Bailenson. “The typical GDP of Second Life is about half a billion dollars each year. And, the world runs robustly without using the blockchain.”“Could the next iteration of the internet exist without blockchain technology?” asked Tonya Evans, professor at Penn State University’s Dickinson Law School. “Yes, it could,” she told Cointelegraph. After all, distributed decentralized ledgers and cryptographically-secured assets — including smart contracts — are only one part of Web3 technology, along with AI, 3D printing, VR, augmented reality, the Internet of Things (IoT) and others. Many are thrilled at the prospect of the Metaverse with its virtual worlds that can be used to play online games, but also to train surgeons on 3D organ models and enable students to visit recreated villages in ancient Greece astonishingly brought to life.Exclude it at your perilBut, omitting blockchain technology, while doable, could still be a mistake. “The Metaverse without blockchains would likely just advance the ball for Big Tech,” added Evans, and it would come at the expense of those same people left behind by Web2 — “the very people a truly decentralized web would empower.”Yonatan Raz-Fridman, founder and CEO of SuperSocial — which develops games for the Metaverse — agreed that blockchain technology is not absolutely necessary. “No, you don’t need blockchain to enable the Metaverse,” he told Cointelegraph. There is no a priori reason why avatars can’t be created in 3D and games played with closed platforms, like Second Life’s.But, Web3 is arguably a reaction against the FAMGA companies — Facebook, Apple, Microsoft, Google and Amazon — with their privately-owned platforms, and Raz-Fridman predicted that companies like Meta will have to compromise on the matter of interoperability if they expect to participate. This means allowing avatars to freely travel from one Metaverse project to another — along with all their digital clothes and jewelry. As NYU marketing professor Scott Galloway put it recently: “Why buy clothes if you can’t wear them out of the store? Why buy a Birkin bag if you can’t show it off in the Metaverse?” Consumers are now demanding a Web3/Metaverse more like that depicted in Neal Stephenson’s 1992 novel Snow Crash, added Raz-Fridman, “where everyone owns their digital assets and has the freedom to bring them with them as they move from one place to another.”An artist’s depiction of the Metaverse in Snow Crash. Source: Civort.Interestingly, novelist Stephenson himself is the co-founder of a recently launched metaverse project Lamina1, “that will use blockchain technology to build an ‘open metaverse’ — one that’s open-source and decentralized,” the Washington Post reported. All about people, places and thingsThe Metaverse is an elusive term — various parties define it differently. Most agree, though, that it involves immersive three-dimensional virtual worlds with lots of games and role-playing. Bailenson, for his part, finds it useful to break the Metaverse down into people, places and things. In each of these areas, he sees a potential role for blockchain technology.“People are avatars, the bodies we wear while immersed in the digital world,” he explained to Cointelegraph. Here, blockchain technology can provide the “crypto DNA” that “ensures a one-to-one mapping of person to avatar.” For example, it could be used to guarantee that an individual can’t inhabit ten avatars simultaneously or enable someone else to “take my own avatar for a joy ride.” Added Bailenson:“While an obvious application of blockchain will be to verify clothes and jewelry for an avatar, I have always thought the killer app here is documenting and verifying human animations.”Places, in Bailenson’s conception, are set areas in a grid of a virtual world. For the Metaverse to work, a world “needs to be persistent: it is there, even when you aren’t, and consistent: if you buy a plot of land one kilometer from Snoop Dog, it can’t move farther away based on an arbitrary remapping of the world.” Some platforms are already using blockchain technology to document these maps, he noted.Finally, the most obvious application of blockchain technology is in Bailenson’s realm of things, which includes three-dimensional models, two-dimensional images, sound files “or any digital asset that can be housed within a virtual world.” Blockchain technology can be used to verify transactions “without a centralized body overseeing the transaction” and also ensure “that items have unique value based on the supply — one can’t just make thousands of copies to counterfeit an asset.”A need for interoperability?As things stand now, major Metaverse players and/or contenders — including Sandbox, Decentraland and the FAMGA companies — “offer very little interchange between their web platforms and other platforms,” Lik-Hang Lee, assistant professor at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, told Cointelegraph. This lack of interoperability, characteristic of Web2, is a shortcoming that needs to be addressed if the Metaverse is to reach its full potential. This includes, at a minimum, the following elements, according to Lee:Anyone should be able to build a virtual world that can link to the rest of the Metaverse;Any device or browser should be able to access the Metaverse provided it meets with certain predetermined specifications;Ownership of digital assets should be recorded and preserved across multiple servers and clients;A single avatar should be able to communicate with avatars on other servers;People should have the ability to produce, show, buy and sell their digital assets within the Metaverse.“In light of the growing number of metaverse initiatives that are incompatible with one another, it is more important than ever to build standardizing organisms,” Lee told Cointelegraph.Interoperability may not come easily, however. Meta, Google and others “will fight hard not to lose their dominance,” said Raz-Fridman. It may also take time for the public to understand just what is entailed in a user-owned internet, but when they do, “consumers will demand to be more in control.” FAMGA companies will have no choice at that point but to yield, at least somewhat, on interoperability. Raz-Fridman was asked why crypto people, in particular, seem to be so interested in the Metaverse. Is it because they think it will potentially boost cryptocurrency adoption? “If you look at it historically, there has always been a struggle over the narrative — different versions of what the world should look like,” he answered.At one extreme are the crypto maximalists who envision a decentralized, blockchain-based and open-source world where people own and control their data and digital assets. Raz-Fridman has sympathy for this position, but ultimately he doesn’t think it will prevail, overall, at least. Facebook, Google and others “own a large piece of economic activity over the internet, and they won’t be toppled overnight.” By the same token, the continuance of private, closed platforms isn’t realistic either. In the short-term, one might expect a sort of “clash of civilizations” between the two visions, continued Raz-Fridman, with an eventual middle ground emerging as consumers themselves decide the extent to which the Metaverse is decentralized. Meanwhile, as the Metaverse further evolves, Bailenson expects to see lots of gratuitous uses of blockchain technology “where the technology works, but is not essential.” As more time passes, though, “there will emerge a set of killer apps where blockchain is the only way to do the job right,” Bailenson told Cointelegraph. All in all, a Metaverse without blockchain is both thinkable and doable. But, “if the goal is the democratization of the Internet, not to mention accessibility, transparency, composability and platform interoperability,” Evans said, “then the Metaverse must include blockchain.”

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Sango crypto hub goes live in the Central African Republic

The Central African Republic (CAR) has launched its new government-backed Sango crypto hub initiative to foster the development of the local digital asset sector. The Sango project follows the CAR’s adoption of Bitcoin (BTC) as legal tender in April. The initiative aims to attract businesses and global crypto talent/enthusiasts, ramp up local BTC adoption and oversee the rollout of crypto regulatory frameworks and infrastructure. A Metaverse platform dubbed “The Crypto Island” and Sango Coin is also in the works. Speaking at the launch event on July 3, President Faustin-Archange Touadera outlined the vision for Sango is to have a “common cryptocurrency and an integrated capital market that could stimulate commerce and sustain growth.”One of the key points President Touadera emphasized was financial inclusion and the importance of citizens being able to gain access to crypto via a smartphone easily. He drew comparisons with the underutilized banking sector in CAR, which has several barriers to entry: “The citizens will gain at every level, they will live in a country in full economic development, which means employment and prosperity. Moreover, they will benefit from virtual transactions which, in contrast to traditional banking, have the advantage of rapid access, fast execution, lack of bureaucracy, and low cost.”“This technology will give an identity to the continent by reducing cost. This vision is perfect, and we do not have the time to wait. […] For us, the formal economy is no longer an option,” he added.Gold served as the engine of our civilization for ages! In this new age, digital gold will serve the same for the future! @SangoProject is the foundation that we will build on, together as one! Our President is speaking at the #Sango Genesis Event, at 7PM: https://t.co/pdfamwRkz2— Faustin-Archange Touadéra (@FA_Touadera) July 3, 2022Despite the CAR president’s bullishness for the project, the World Bank stated in May that it will not be “supporting Sango” over transparency concerns and “potential implications for financial inclusion.”Sango is backed by the CAR’s National Assembly and is being driven primarily by President Touadera. While many specifics are yet to be detailed, a significant focus of the project will be to tokenize the country’s abundant natural resources to open up greater investment access to them. Citizen identity and ownership of assets will also be tokenized as an NFT. Additionally, Crypto Island will play a crucial part in facilitating this ecosystem and serve as a way for verified users to gain access to tokenized assets. Related: Bitcoin addresses in loss hit all-time high amid $18K BTC price targetThe expanded Bitcoin support will also see the development of a local wallet built for BTC and the lighting network.It looks like Central African Republic plans on embracing NFT’s and the Metaverse following their #Bitcoin legal tender law. The Sango Initiative plans to tokenize real world assets, create digital identities for ownership, all of which will be represented in the Metaverse. pic.twitter.com/jucxKsoYHd— Derek Ross ⚡5️⃣ (@derekmross) July 2, 2022

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Fork of July: Cardano Vasil upgrade successfully launches on testnet

The much-anticipated Vasil hard fork has been completed on the Cardno testnet, bringing it one major step closer to becoming a reality on the mainnet and promising broad performance upgrades.Project developers, stake pool operators (SPO), and exchanges are now encouraged to deploy their work on the testnet to ensure integrations run smoothly when the mainnet gets the Vasil treatment in about four weeks.We’re happy to report that today at 20:20 UTC the IOG team has successfully hard forked the #Cardano Testnet. This is an important next step in the journey towards the Vasil upgrade on mainnet. 1/10 pic.twitter.com/9F9vzec0pK— Input Output (@InputOutputHK) July 3, 2022Once completed on the mainnet, the Vasil hard fork will allow faster block creation and greater scalability for decentralized apps (dapps) running on Cardano. Input Output HK (IOHK), the organization that produced Cardano, said in a July 3 tweet that in addition to the performance upgrades, developers would benefit from “much-improved script performance and efficiency” and lower costs.Vasil will also enable interoperability between Cardano (ADA) sidechains, one of the main features developers intend to launch in the current Basho phase of the blockchain’s development. Basho is the fourth development phase for Cardano that focuses on scaling and will be followed up with the Voltaire phase, in which governance will be the main focus.The Vasil upgrade is now live on testnet, coming to mainnet in a few weeks. Expect Cardano DeFi to go into the rapids from here— ADA whale (@cardano_whale) July 3, 2022

IOHK also noted that there would not be a proposal to hard fork the mainnet until “ecosystem partners are comfortable and ready,” but it is expected to come in about four weeks.The previous phase, Goguen, saw the launch of smart contract capabilities on Cardano, which decentralized finance (DeFi) developers took advantage of by launching dozens of dapp exchanges and DeFi protocols according to ecosystem tracker Cardano Cube. Related: Ethereum fork a success as Sepolia testnet gears up to trial the MergeCardano’s top dapp with $49.7 million in total value locked (TVL) is currently the decentralized exchange (DEX) WingRiders, according to DeFi data compiler DeFi Llama.The testnet hard fork has done little to move ADA as it is only up 0.1% over the last 24 hours to $0.45, according to CoinGecko.

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Are expiring copyrights the next goldmine for NFTs?

Although non-fungible tokens (NFTs) are most commonly known in the form of digital art, they exist in many other forms and represent much more than just art. In the creative industry, NFTs have been used by musicians such as Kings of Leon to release their latest album. In the sports industry, NFTs are created to record the highlights of major sporting events such as the NBA. In the consumer product industry, Nike, Gucci and many others are selling their digital branded products in the form of NFTs. A lot more real-world applications of NFTs are still to be explored and one of them is the digital publishing industry. The game-changing implications of publishing and promoting books with NFTs have already been discussed extensively by many. For example, the Alliance of Independent Authors are helping indie authors to promote their latest books using NFTs. Other associated items for the fans club such as character cards are also made into NFTs. Tezos Farmation, a project built on Tezos network, even uses the complete text of George Orwell’s Animal Farm book and slices it up into 10,000 pieces to use as titles for the NFTs. NFTs created from existing books are normally bound to copyrights. However, in the case of Tezos Farmation, the copyright had already expired. The text from the book can be used by any party for free. This triggers a very interesting question – how can NFTs preserve copyrights and royalties for books with expired copyrights? The NFT application in the publishing industry is so far mostly focused on books that still have royalties and within their copyrights lifespan. But there are authors whose work lives on long past both their mortal existence and that of their copyrights; can NFTs provide their estates a means to extend the life of the book and its royalties?The journey from copyright to public domainCopyright laws are complex and vary widely throughout the world. Although few countries offer no copyright protection in line with international conventions, most jurisdictions work on the premise that copyright is protected for the author’s life plus a minimum of 25 years after their death. In the European Union, copyright is protected for 70 years after the death of the latest living author. It is the same in the U.S, with the exception that books originally published between 1927 and 1978 are protected for 95 years after the first publication. No matter how long the copyrights are protected for, given enough time, anything will end up free in the public domain.When celebrated literature enters the public domain the future value of the work is essentially reduced to zero. However, there often remains a disconnected community who intrinsically value the work. Estates holding copyrights that are about to fall into the public domain have a unique opportunity to create a tangible asset in the form of NFTs from the intangible goodwill embedded in the disconnected community.A good example would be Winnie-the-Pooh, a fictional anthropomorphic teddy bear created by English author A. A. Milne and English illustrator E. H. Shepard is loved by fans all over the world. The first collection of stories about the character was created in 1926. After almost 96 years, the copyrights had expired and the book moved into the public domain on Jan 1, 2022. The estate holding the copyright will receive no future value from Winnie-the-Pooh even though the commercial value of such a world-wide famous cartoon character will remain high for a long time.Just prior to the copyright expiring, the controlling estate has the window of opportunity where no one else is legally entitled to do anything with the works. If the estate had spent time connecting fans with an interest in NFTs, building or collaborating with a project that resonates with them, and launching the NFT collection prior to the completion of the copyright period, the outcome would have been very different. There could have been a much longer copyright lifespan for Winne-the-Pooh.Related: Experts explain how music NFTs will enhance the connection between creators and fansExtending the value of an expiring copyright Currently, publishing houses have no incentives to collaborate with the estate of copyright holders that are about to enter the public domain because the work will soon be free. A certificate of authenticity represented by a tradable NFT might provide an incentive for such collaborations. After the copyright expires and the work goes into the public domain, the NFTs will carry the royalty further into the digital world. Royalties can be generated through sales in the NFT marketplace on the blockchain, or through even more complex smart contracts created for specific use cases for first edition, limited edition or signed vintage copies. The estates holding expiring copyrights have credibility, which is a precious asset in the NFT world, and they have nothing to lose. They are in the box seat to capitalize on their current ownership, and potential for a digital community. Beloved characters and the worlds they inhabit can be a solid foundation for not only NFTs that can extend copyrights, but also extended creativity across mediums like literature, gaming, Metaverse, charity, education and many more to come.The views and opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Cointelegraph.com. Every investment and trading move involves risk, you should conduct your own research when making a decision.

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The crypto industry needs a crypto capital market structure

The past few weeks have been interesting and have surfaced what we in the financial services industry call matters requiring attention, or MRAs. An MRA describes a practice that deviates from sound governance, internal controls and risk management principles. These matters that require attention have the potential to adversely affect the industry and increase the risk profile. I have always focused on technology and innovation-led business models — systems and interconnected elements of blockchain-powered business networks — redefining the transaction systems that power many industries, including financial services. A growing number of naysayers have become vocal about recent events, which have revealed extensive mismanagement, ill-defined and misgoverned systems, and general misrepresentation of the industry. As a result, I want to take a systemic view of the industry to understand what led to this point, dissect the failings, and be prescriptive on how we can learn from failures and build upon successes. Let’s first understand the market structure and what it means. That will help shed light on inefficiency in the current crypto market structure and allow me to make the case for a better-defined structure aimed at systemic fairness, robust information flow for risk profiles, and a convincing innovation narrative to revive the industry and instill confidence.Understanding the current financial market structureThe modern financial market structure is essentially a chain of interconnected market participants that aid in accumulating capital and forming investment resources. These market participants have specific functions, such as asset custody, central bookkeeping, liquidity provisioning, clearing and settlement. Because of function, capital constraints or regulation, many of these entities are not vertically integrated, which prevents collusion or unilateral investment decisions. So, various products may be governed by different markets, but the fundamental financial primitives remain universal. For example, products such as stocks, bonds, futures, options and currencies all need to be traded, cleared and settled, and other functions such as collateralization, lending and borrowing ensue.Financial markets work only where there is a supply of and demand for capital, and this is important. Today, the information between these interconnected participants is a function of sequential batched relay systems, and this asymmetric dissemination of information not only creates opacity but also inefficiency in terms of liquidity requirements, system trust costs in the form of fees and opportunity costs. Blockchain and distributed ledger technology systems aim to solve these issues of time and trust with the characteristics of immutability and asymmetric dissemination of consistent information, which lends itself to trust and instant transaction processing. So, where did this go wrong? And why is the problem we were trying to solve becoming exponentially more complex and prevalent in crypto capital markets?Related: Understanding the systemic shift from digitization to tokenization of financial servicesThe current state of market (un)structure — The history of the promise of cryptoThe Bitcoin (BTC) system was proposed as an experiment born out of the global financial crisis as a prescriptive approach to rethinking our financial system, a reimagined order to organize the world community and reduce dependence on a few large hegemonic economies. This system was proposed with tenets of decentralization to distribute power and trustless protocols to ensure that no single entity had absolute control of a monetary system. It relied on participation in the global creation, acceptance and recognition of a currency, where the rules of demand and supply applied to egalitarian principles. Related: A new intro to Bitcoin: The 9-minute read that could change your lifeBitcoin helped envision a few financial systems to address the inefficiencies of the current system discussed previously. Ethereum introduced programmability to a simple asset transfer that Bitcoin introduced, adding business rules and other complex financial primitives for application to otherwise simple rules for moving value. This began a reinvention of the internet, which was never designed to move value but only information. Subsequently, evolved layers of innovation, such as provisioning scalability and privacy (layer 2), were added, and the industry was humming along with the promise of a bright future. While we had naysayers, the crypto industry brought innovation with no apologies and began to shape a new wave of technological development to empower an ownership economy — very much in line with the participative and global egalitarian economic system promised by Bitcoin.Many interesting projects evolved to solve problems as they popped up, and we could see a lot of innovative energy spread through the ecosystem with new use cases, applications and solutions for many problems resulting from lack of trust, costs and the exploitive opacity of data and information only monetizable by a few. Related: Bitcoin’s Velvet Revolution: The overthrow of crony capitalismThis revolution also began to attract new talent from many industries, and many projects began to be socialized, which neither adhered to original envisioned principles nor added to technological innovation. They used the vernacular and the enthusiasm of the community, but in their structure was a centralized layer with challenges having the pitfalls of the current system but with the utility of a distributed ledger techonology-based transaction system. Some of these projects did offer financial product innovation by utilizing the same financial primitives, solving the issues of opacity, time, trust, liquidity, capital efficiency and risk, and promising egalitarian access, but they lacked the market structure and guardrails the current system provides.Devising a new crypto capital market structure and convincing innovation narrativeHistorically, crypto industry market changes have been grassroots, and then the changes are driven by entrepreneurs and the community. The industry will once again pivot and shift through these forces and emerge with a stronger foundation. For this to occur, however, the industry needs a sound market structure and systemic independence from current transactional systems. One industry imperative is not only to coexist with current market structures but also to provide a bridging vehicle to current asset classes. The following are a few imperatives I consider essential MRAs for stronger and more resilient markets.Rethinking stablecoins“Stablecoin” has many definitions and many types, so the industry should devote significant energy to rethinking stablecoins, or a truly fungible asset as a medium of exchange. Stablecoins have facilitated a large volume of digital asset trading and allowed for traditional fiat, or fungible sovereign, currency to be converted into digital assets, including crypto assets, and brought much-needed liquidity into the market. However, they also have inherited the challenges of fiat (as a reserve) and begun to provide linkages to and inherit the challenges (and opportunities) of traditional financial markets. Besides the regulatory and compliance burden of fiat in a largely unregulated crypto financial system, the complexity of value systems can often cause issues in asset valuation and the risk matrix, making it hard for an emerging asset class to flourish and reach its full potential. I think the industry needs to view native crypto assets, such as BTC, Ether (ETH) and other ubiquitous crypto assets or a currency basket as fungible assets as a store of value, unit of account and medium of exchange — the three basic characteristics of a currency.[embedded content]Provisioning robust crypto market data Market data is a broad term that describes the financial information necessary for carrying out research, analyzing, trading and accounting for financial instruments of all asset classes on world markets. Crypto adds a new vector of challenge as a 24/7, 365-day operation with a velocity and veracity of data never seen before. This velocity and data capacity have led to analytic challenges in data collection, aggregation, modeling and insights. So, data is information that goes into the price/value/risk calculus and consideration of other macro factors such as inflation, money supply and global events that impact commodities, and essentially makes a market efficient or aims to. Regulatory moats exist to prevent some participants from taking advantage of information asymmetry, such as insider trading. Crypto market data will bridge the gap between price (what you pay) and value (what you get). This should not only be an imperative for all new layer-1 projects but also for all projects providing financialization of token as a service.Related: The meaningful shift from Bitcoin maximalism to Bitcoin realismCreation of a crypto self-regulatory organizationIt is important to create a self-regulatory organization (SRO) involving dominant industry players and major layer-1 protocols, which has the power to create industry standards, professional conduct guidelines and regulations to steer the industry in the right direction. SROs are generally effective due to domain expertise and preserving the interest and reputation of the industry by providing guidelines and guardrails for new entrants and existing participants alike. Enforcement and violation can come through broader education and appeals to the community that supports a project, and this can be especially effective around robust crypto market data that provides insights into transparent data and the correlation of activities across the industry on related projects and related markets. This will also help the industry (by segments) to educate itself, work with regulators and policymakers, and forge partnerships.Decoupling cryptoDecoupling is essential for the crypto industry to provide both diversity in the investment landscape and a model for efficient and resilient asset classes, transaction systems and an effective market structure. As we have seen with stablecoins, which inherit elements of global macro strategy and increased correlation, rethinking the industry’s ability to create value on its own merits and a new fundamental model that will not only create a convincing innovation narrative but also provide the markets a new independent asset class with sound fundamentals. This also is aligned with the fundamental principle that led to the genesis of Bitcoin-led crypto innovations. Decoupling in scientific terms also refers to reducing the number of resources used to generate economic growth while decreasing environmental deterioration and ecological scarcity.Related: The decoupling manifesto: Mapping the next phase of the crypto journeyLooking forwardA modern financial market structure is essentially a chain of interconnected market participants that aid in accumulating capital and forming investment resources. The industry needs a sound market structure and systemic independence from current transactional systems. One of the industry imperatives is not only to coexist with current market structures but also to provide a bridging vehicle to current asset classes. Earlier, I discussed several MRAs that are essential for stronger and more resilient markets. The changes proposed to fix the volatile and runaway nature of the industry include (but are not limited to): a) rethinking stablecoins and liquidity, b) robust crypto market data for efficient market functioning, c) creation of a crypto self-regulated organization and enforcement via community actions, and d) decoupling crypto — essentially rethinking the industry’s ability to create value on its own merits and a new fundamental model that will not only create a convincing innovation narrative but also provide the markets a new independent asset class with sound fundamentals.This article does not contain investment advice or recommendations. Every investment and trading move involves risk, and readers should conduct their own research when making a decision.The views, thoughts and opinions expressed here are the author’s alone and do not necessarily reflect or represent the views and opinions of Cointelegraph.Nitin Gaur has recently joined State Street Digital as its managing director, where he leads digital asset and technology design, with aspirations to transition part of the company’s financial market infrastructure and its clients to the new digital economy. In a previous role, Nitin, served as the founder and director of IBM Digital Asset Labs — committed to devising industry standards, use cases and working toward making blockchain for enterprise a reality. In parallel, Nitin also served as chief technology officer of IBM World Wire — a cross-border payment solution utilizing digital assets. Nitin also founded IBM Blockchain Labs and led the effort in establishing blockchain practice for the enterprise.

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