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For UN related news, please click each organization’s name on the right column.

Selected news articles concerning blockchain technology, other than UN related ones, are also posted here.

 

Blockchain Symposium in NY on Sep 26, 2018

Date: Sep 26, 2018

Time: 12:00 – 18:30

Venue:

The Reactor lounge, the 4th floor,

Company (formerly Grand Central Tech),

335 Madison Avenue, New York, NY 10017

Map: https://goo.gl/maps/RT8BdQMJPA92

 

A year-long process of co-production of the book ‘Legal Aspects of Blockchain’ by the Netherland Blockchain Pilots and UNOPS has been now completing. The Netherlands Consulate, Blockchainpilots.nl and UNOPS would like to invite you to the Blockchain Symposium for the book launch on September 26, 2018 as below.

Many of authors of the book and experts in the thematic areas such as financial services, identity, and land registration from startups, academics and international organizations will be present to discuss the latest practices. Among others, speakers include; Ms. Yoka Brandt (Vice-minister of Foreign Affairs of The Netherlands), Ms. Grete Faremo (Executive Director / Under-Secretary General, UNOPS), Ms. Jelena Madir (Director, Chief Counsel, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development), Dr. Mariana Dahan (CEO, World Identity Network), Mr. Michael J. Casey (Senior Advisor, Digital Currency Initiative, MIT Media Lab). Please see attached for more details of the program.

ConsenSys and UNOPS’s first iteration of the interactive web-based mapping of blockchain on SDGs will be also presented.

You can also pick up your copy of the book at the venue of the symposium.

Since the capacity of the venue is limited, it would be grateful if you could fill the registration form for Sep 26 if you plan to attend it.

Agenda is available here.

High-Level Political Forum 2018 – Side Event: Blockchain for Transformation towards Sustainable and Resilient Societies

High-Level Political Forum 2018 – Side Event: Blockchain for Transformation towards Sustainable and Resilient Societies

11 July 2018

UNOPS, New York

Background
The United Nations 2030 Agenda emphasizes the role that innovation plays in support of sustainable development. An important emerging innovation that has been in the news recently is blockchain / distributed ledger technology.

Originally, the blockchain’s primary use of blockchain technology was to store and track cryptocurrency transactions (e.g. Bitcoin). However, other uses and implementations have emerged in recent years. Some of these can be used to advance the implementation and monitoring of the SDGs for example by reducing food waste (SDG 12.3), supporting sustainable production by ensuring that products or production inputs are sustainably sourced, encouraging companies to adopt sustainable practices and integrate sustainability information into their products, and ensuring consumers have relevant information for sustainable lifestyles (SDGs 12.6 and 12.7); and providing legal identities and financial services to refugees and the very poor (SDG 2).

Blockchain can be a powerful lever to bring together all the stakeholders involved in value chains and those regulating them: producers, intermediaries, the final consumer – and governments. But value chains are international, and the loops can only be closed in an efficient manner if stakeholders, including governments, cooperate and coordinate across borders.

Target Audience
This roundtable aims at creating a discussion between policy makers, as well as with the private sector, international organizations, major groups and other relevant stakeholders involved in developing innovative solutions based upon blockchain/distributed ledger technology and partnership approach.

Registration
This Side Event will take place during the High Level Political Forum 2018. All participants must register on-line to attend the event.

Objective
The objective of this session is to:

  • Provide a mutual learning space where policymakers can interact with their peers and other relevant stakeholders on the potential applications of blockchain technology and lessons learned from existing applications.
  • Advance the implementation and monitoring of the Sustainable Development Goals, with a particular focus on the transformations enabled by Blockchain towards sustainable and resilient Societies.
  • Promote global multi-stakeholder partnerships to contribute to advancing the application of blockchain / distributed ledger technology for the implementation and monitoring of the SDGs.
  • Showcase how innovative startups and young entrepreneurs are developing solutions based on blockchain / distributed ledger technology to solve issues related to the SDGs targets under review by the HLPF.

Agenda

13:00 – 13:30 – Speakers

  • Ms. Maria Ceccarelli, Chief, Trade Facilitation Section, UNECE
  • Mr. Yoshiyuki Yamamoto, Special Advisor, UN Engagement and Blockchain, UNOPS
  • HE Tadej Slapnik, State Secretary, Office of the Prime Minister, Slovenia
  • Mr. Ad Kroft, Chair, National Blockchain Coalition, The Netherlands
  • Ms. Vanessa Grellet, Executive Director ConsenSys
  • Mr. Gregor Novak, CEO SunContract

13:30 – 14:00 – Panel Discussion – Moderated by UNECE

14:00 – 14:30 – Open Discussion

Venue

United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS)
708 3rd Avenue, 14th Floor, New York, NY 10017 USA

Contacts: 

Downloadable Brochure is here.

UN/CEFACT White Paper on Blockchain

 

United Nations Centre for Trade Facilitation and Electronic Business (UN/CEFACT) wishes to share the first White Paper on Blockchain authored by UN/CEFACT, which is currently out for Public Review.

 

This document was already referenced a few months back as one of the documents presented to UN/CEFACT 24th Plenary Session. This same document is out for Public Review in order to capture comments and suggestions from the general public.

 

The Public Review will end on 21 July 2018. UN/CEFACT will welcome all comments entered through this template.

 

UN Division Looks to IOTA Ledger Tech for Higher Efficiency

UN Division Looks to IOTA Ledger Tech for Higher Efficiency

Nikhilesh De, CoinDesk

May 24, 2018 at 02:30 UTC  |  Updated  May 24, 2018 at 02:36 UTC

The United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) is teaming up with the IOTA Foundation to see how the project’s distributed ledger technology can help the UN streamline its workflows.

The UNOPS announced the partnership on Tuesday, saying the two organizations are looking into increasing the operation efficiency of the UN office using IOTA’s tangle technology. Read more.

Restart Week West, A Decentralized Community Event of Innovation and Support for the Redevelopment of Puerto Rico, Returns This May

Restart Week West, A Decentralized Community Event of Innovation and Support for the Redevelopment of Puerto Rico, Returns This May

 

Following the successful debut edition of Restart Week in San Juan, Puerto Rico this past March, the community-driven event has announced its second gathering which will take place from May 11-19 in Mayagüez on the western coast of Puerto Rico.

With their second event, Restart Week will officially collaborate with the Municipality of Mayagüez and the University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez to ensure direct impact on the local and surrounding community. Similar to local impact events in San Juan, independent groups and event organizers are planning events with the local community for Restart Week West.

Impact From Restart Week San Juan:

  • Deploying caravans of volunteers around the island to help with relief efforts
  • 400 pounds of art supplies delivered to the Boys and Girls Club
  • Solar project completed for five houses
  • Pallets of food delivered to Island Corps
  • A monumental day of relief efforts that helped turn the lights on in the old San Juan Children’s Museum for the first time in four years
  • “Power to the People” benefit concert from Lottery.com that was attended by thousands of people with performance from Akon, Yandel, Lupe Fiasco, Raekwon, Ghostface Killah and more.

 

With this move, a more intimate Restart Week West will integrate students and innovators with focused events, mentorships, thought-leaders, and collaborations. While there will be additional activities in Rincón and Aguadilla, most of the events will take place in Mayagüez, the largest city on the Western side of the island with more than 13,000 college students and over 10 universities in the municipality.

Mayagüez is the center for technology innovation on the island with more computer science graduatesthan anywhere else in Puerto Rico, and the city ranks first for engineering, lawyers, accountants and professionals. Restart Week is working with several local startups, entrepreneurs, and companies, along with students and professors from the Entrepreneurship Network at the University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez, to bring resources and connections to advance the innovation and growth on the Island.

The first Restart Week was a week-long series of community-driven events anchored by three major blockchain conferences and a benefit concert. The week brought together a community of locals, new residents, and passionate visitors participating in the mission to support the restart, redesign, rebuild Puerto Rico in the wake of Hurricane Maria.

The March edition brought in an estimated 2,500 attendees and over 3,000 participants that took part in D10e, Blockchain Unbound, and CoinAgenda, community organized events like Women in Blockchain, and local charity projects. To the delight of many local businesses, the first restart event led to all hotels from San Juan to Isla Verde selling out for the first time since Hurricane Maria.

Restart Week West will kick off with the EduBlock: Restart Week Hackathon from May 11-12, bringing data enthusiasts, innovators and students together to work on initiatives driving community empowerment and social impact. By doing this, Restart Week seeks to create real solutions to help the people of Puerto Rico. A key focus for Restart Week West will be specific inter-industry collaboration in areas such as energy, agriculture, healthcare, housing and education. There will also be complementary art and design activities and snacks for the children of Mayagüez, which will take place after school from May 11-18. More events can be found on the Restart Week website with more to be added soon.

Restart Week West is partnering with the Startup Societies Summit on May 8th-10th in Washington D.C, which will bring together a consortium of actors to rebuild Puerto Rico with sustainable startup cities. The consortium, headed by policymakers, blockchain entrepreneurs, resilient infrastructure experts and other leaders in innovation, will take steps to create communities for entrepreneurial collaboration.

The Official Media Partner for Restart Week West is The Confluence: A full-service, global media agency that delivers best-in-class publicity, branding and content strategy to many of the world’s most influential brands, launches and causes.

More information on Restart Week and several related initiatives will be announced in the upcoming weeks on the Restart Week website. Those interested in volunteering or submitting an event for Restart Week West as well as anyone that wants to join the Restart effort can do so on their official website.

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UNICEF’s “Hope Page” Mines Cryptocurrency Through Visitors’ Computers

UNICEF Australia is using Coinhive — a crypto-mining service — to extract cryptocurrency through visitors’ computers and fund its ongoing mission in Bangladesh. The UN branch has long worked to provide humanitarian relief for both children and their mothers in developing nations. The organization has now created what representatives call the “Hope Page,” which allows users to donate through cryptocurrency. Read more.

Blockchain for Sustainable and Inclusive Finance

This is conference information – Blockchain for Sustainable and Inclusive Finance

There will be one day dialogue on 25th April 2018 on Blockchain for Sustainable and Inclusive Finance along with discussions on prospects for integrating the principle of sustainable development in faith-consistent financing to achieve the SDGs.

The workshop is hosted by the Responsible Finance & Investment Foundation (RFI), the Swiss-Arab Network (SAN), UN Environment (UNEP), the Bank of the Argentine Nation and European Partners for the Environment.

Continue reading “Blockchain for Sustainable and Inclusive Finance”

UN/CEFACT Conference / Workshop on Blockchain

UN/CEFACT Conference / Workshop on Blockchain

26 April 2018, at Palais des Nations, Geneva, Switzerland

Background
The UN/CEFACT Blockchain Whitepaper Project was launched in May 2017 and currently has 75 participating experts The scope of the project is to look at:

  • How Blockchain technology could be used to facilitate trade and related business processes
  • How existing UN/CEFACT deliverables could be used by Blockchain application developers
  • Possible changes to existing UN/CEFACT deliverables, or new deliverables, that could be considered in order to support Blockchain trade-facilitation related applications.

Follow the URL for more complete description of the project.

Objective
The objective of this workshop/conference is to discuss and obtain feedback and comments from experts on the:

  • Issue of interoperability between different blockchains
  • Draft chapters for the White Paper on Blockchain and Trade Facilitation
  • Draft White Paper on Blockchain Standards

The project team and participating experts will also discuss recommendations to be made to the UN/CEFACT Bureau for subsequent follow-up activities.

Target Audience
All interested in finding out more about how Blockchain could be used to support trade (including trade in services).

Registration
To attend the conference, participants need to be register for the UN/CEFACT Forum. You are kindly requested to register online.

Download: Agenda

UNOPS Partners With the Dutch Government’s “Blockchain Pilots” to Explore Legal Dimensions of Distributed Ledger Technology

New study brings 13 authors together on a range of legal aspects of blockchain topics, including identity, data ownerships, cryptocurrencies, and its use in the UN system.


“The aim of this publication is to act as a catalyst to discuss the legal implications that blockchain has – and may have – not only in humanitarian and development work, which is our prime concern, but also on existing regulatory frameworks, data and identity more broadly,” said Yoshiyuki Yamamoto, Special Advisor on UN Engagement and Blockchain Technology at UNOPS.

The new study is set to be released this summer, with a launch event to follow in New York mid-September.

“For blockchain to reach its full potential a clear understanding of the legal implications involved is required,” said Koen Hartog, Programme Manager for Blockchain Pilots, based in The Hague.

He added: “Legal experts should be involved in all blockchain projects at the early stages, however, this is not always the case. We hope this book is a helpful introduction to blockchain for legal experts working in public administration and international organizations.”

If you are interested in placing a pre-order of the digital version of the book or the limited number of printed copies available, please register using this form.