Blockchain Technology Gains Popularity

NEW YORK, March 6, 2018 /PRNewswire/ --

According to a report published by Research and Market, the global blockchain market was valued at USD 411.5 million in 2017 and is expected to reach USD 7,683.7 million by 2022, at a compound annual growth rate of 79.6 percent. The blockchain technology now can be used in payments, healthcare, smart contracts, documentation, digital Identity, supply chain management, and GRC Management. The report indicates that, "increasing adoption of Blockchain-as-a-Service, rising cryptocurrency market cap and ICO, simplifying business processes, and creating transparency and immutability are expected to propel the growth of the blockchain market." Mogo Finance Technology Inc. (OTC: MOGOF), International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE: IBM), Eastman Kodak Co (NYSE: KODK), Bitcoin Investment Trust (OTC: GBTC), JD.Com Inc. (NASDAQ: JD)

Rising cryptocurrency market cap is one of the factors that drive the blockchain market. According to Coinmarketcap, the total market cap of all cryptocurrencies was $466 billion. Bitcoin, the world's largest cryptocurrency by market capitalizations, was up about 1,300 percent in 2017. It is now traded at about $11,605. Ethereum posted gained over 8,000 percent last year. Ripple now ranked as the third largest cryptocurrency by market cap and it jumped more than 10 percent in the early trading on Monday on speculation that leading U.S. cryptocurrency marketplace Coinbase will add the digital currency to its platform. But it erased its gains later on Monday.

Mogo Finance Technology Inc. (OTCQX: MOGOF) also listed on the TSX Exchange under the ticker symbol "MOGO". On January 23rd the company announced the formation of a new subsidiary - Mogo Blockchain Technology Inc. ("Mogo Blockchain") - which will serve as the main vehicle for Mogo's blockchain operations, including new product development and strategic partnerships. As the first strategic initiative, Mogo Blockchain plans to begin bitcoin mining, through an agreement with DMG Blockchain Solutions ("DMG"), a Vancouver-based company focused on bitcoin mining hosting (mining as a service (MaaS)) and diversified blockchain platform development.

Under the agreement with DMG, Mogo will initially lease 1,000 bitcoin mining machines, which the Company expects to be operational later this quarter. The machines will be managed and operated by DMG under its MaaS model and will be located at DMG's facilities in British Columbia. Mogo and DMG have also entered into a letter of intent to form a dedicated joint venture for bitcoin mining. The expansion into bitcoin mining follows Mogo's announcement regarding the launch of MogoCrypto - a new product that will allow Canadians to easily buy and sell bitcoin through their MogoAccount and will bring a new level of convenience and transparency to bitcoin ownership.

"We strongly believe blockchain technology will have a profound impact on transforming financial services and will become a core part of a modern financial technology platform. Mogo is focused on building the best digital financial services experience for the next generation of Canadians, and we are committed to adding capabilities in blockchain through in-house development and strategic partnerships such as this one with DMG," said Greg Feller, President of Mogo and CEO of Mogo Blockchain. "We're excited to work with DMG given their extensive mining experience and attractive mining as a service model. We believe that gaining exposure to mining cryptocurrency such as bitcoin is an important part of building our competency around blockchain. In addition, this mining venture will enable us to generate our own supply of 'freshly minted' bitcoin for our MogoMembers once we introduce MogoCrypto later this quarter."

David Feller, Founder & CEO of Mogo, added: "This new subsidiary underscores our commitment to bringing blockchain innovation to financial services. With a focused effort and investment in this space, we will pursue applications that benefit Mogo and its customers, as well as opportunities to focus on enabling blockchain technologies that could potentially be licensed to other companies."

"As we pursue our objective to be the global leader in bitcoin mining hosting, we are pleased to form a new relationship with a well-established fintech company such as Mogo," said Dan Reitzik, CEO of DMG. "With a proven technology platform, strong and increasingly recognized brand, and quickly growing member base, Mogo is well positioned to make cryptocurrencies accessible to more Canadians."

International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE: IBM) is the leader in open-source blockchain solutions built for the enterprise. As an early member of Hyperledger, an open source collaborative effort created to advance cross-industry blockchain technologies, IBM is dedicated to supporting the development of openly-governed blockchains. IBM has worked with more than 400 clients across financial services, supply chains, IoT, risk management, digital rights management and healthcare to implement blockchain applications. On October 16, 2017, the company announced a new blockchain banking solution that will help financial institutions address the processes of universal cross-border payments, designed to reduce the settlement time and lower the cost of completing global payments for businesses and consumers. Using IBM Blockchain, and in collaboration with technology partners and KlickEx Group, the solution is intended to improve the speed in which banks both clear and settle payment transactions on a single network in near real time.

Eastman Kodak Co (NYSE: KODK) on January 9th, together with WENN Digital, in a licensing partnership, announced the launch of the KODAKOne image rights management platform and KODAKCoin, a photo-centric cryptocurrency to empower photographers and agencies to take greater control in image rights management. Utilizing blockchain technology, the KODAKOne platform will create an encrypted, digital ledger of rights ownership for photographers to register both new and archive work that they can then license within the platform. With KODAKCoin, participating photographers are invited to take part in a new economy for photography, receive payment for licensing their work immediately upon sale, and for both professional and amateur photographers, sell their work confidently on a secure blockchain platform.

Bitcoin Investment Trust (OTCQX: GBTC) enables investors to gain exposure to the price movement of bitcoin through a traditional investment vehicle, without the challenges of buying, storing, and safekeeping bitcoins. On November 3, 2017, the Grayscale Investments, LLC, the sponsor of the Bitcoin Investment Trust, announced an update on the planned distribution of the Bitcoin Cash currently held by the Trust to shareholders of record as of the close of business on November 6, 2017. The Trust currently holds approximately 173,014 coins (or units) of Bitcoin Cash, or approximately 0.09258535 coins of Bitcoin Cash per share based on 1,868,700 shares of the Trust outstanding as of the date hereof and expected to be outstanding.

JD.Com Inc. (NASDAQ: JD) announced earlier this month that together with InterAgri the companies are working on a blockchain-enabled traceability system that will provide consumers with even greater transparency on where their beef comes from and how it has been managed at every step of the production process. Following a successful collaboration with Chinese domestic meat producer Kerchin, the project with InterAgri is JD's latest smart supply chain project that leverages blockchain technology to bring confidence to consumers. 

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