A new report from Forrester Research states that some companies are stopping to use the term “blockchain” because they think it is overhyped, business magazine Fortune reported Nov. 6.

In the report dubbed “Predictions 2019: Distributed Ledger Technology,” analysts purportedly found that companies have started to withdraw “blockchain” in favor of “distributed ledger technology” (DLT). The study reportedly found that many firms are overhyping the usefulness of blockchain or using the name of the technology to repackage existing services, a practice the report describes as “blockchain washing.”

The report also uses the term “blockchain washing” to refer to when “networks that are live or under development vary greatly and frequently lack key characteristics that many regard as essential components of a blockchain.” The researchers said that, for some, the mention of blockchain technology can also carry negative “wild west” connotations associated with volatile cryptocurrencies.

The report makes some predictions regarding blockchain, suggesting a slowdown in the its adoption or a so called “blockchain winter,” noting that while the technology is making headway, it is still a “cautious progress:”

“On the tools and services side, we’ll witness steady but cautious progress. ‘Cautious’ because DLT hasn’t proven to be a significant, reliable revenue stream for software and service providers, and 2019 won’t be any different.”

Marsha Bennett, a Forrester analyst and co-author of the report, reportedly noted that blockchain requires a specific level of cooperation, which is not required with other technologies:

“There are parallels with the Internet but what’s different is that, with the Internet, a single company like Amazon or eBay can aspire to do something and create a big change. Blockchain is different because if one company says ‘I’m going to do something,’ it doesn’t matter. This is an ecosystem play.”

The researchers also predict that, in the near future, blockchain technology will be primarily used for the tokenization of assets, i.e. tokenization which does not involve cryptocurrency.

Some companies have indeed capitalized on the hype around blockchain. While some went on to launch their own Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs), others just added the word “blockchain” to their name and saw success. One salient example is former beverage production company Long Blockchain Corp.

The firm joined the blockchain world in January 2018 by changing its name from “Long Island Iced Tea,” a move which resulted in a 500 percent increase in the company’s stock price in a blockchain-induced euphoria.

In January, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) suggested that U.S. companies who change their name to include the word “blockchain” could face increased scrutiny from regulators. SEC Chairman Jay Clayton stated that there is a growing phenomenon of companies adding the word “blockchain” to their names to “capitalize on the perceived promise” of doing so.

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BMW Group now working with Singapore’s blockchain team SUC (Singapore) to streamline the car buying experience, including streamlining the car buying processes. SUC founder Jason wrote on Facebook last week: “SUC announced a partnership with BMW Group’s Financial Services to simplify its customer car and loan experience as part of the 2018 BMW Collaborative Experiment.”

The Singapore-based blockchain company believes that traditional loaning processes are cumbersome. Some of its problems includes putting consumer data at risk when trying to accurately rate borrowers. Jason said SUC blockchain mobile application will help BMW customers protect their personal data on local devices and apply for loans. Jason also said that his company is committed to seamless car buying process (for car buyers), blockchain technology does not need to involve steep learning curves.

The first BMW Financial Services Collaboration Lab worked with six start-ups to transform the automotive industry through a 10-week envisioning process with industry experts from the automotive manufacturer Hilliard’s Ohio office.

Digital currency

BMW is also looking to breakthrough payment solutions. Their statement mentions on blockchain project SUC, which is developing a digital wallet that, if adopted, may be extended nationwide to the automotive distribution industry. According to a company statement, “in-store and online customers can pay with a simple two-dimensional scan”. The product runs on a smart contract system that effectively manages counterparty risk and protects both buyers and sellers. “

If the cooperation is successful, this should be good news for car buyers. The blockchain initiative for German automakers is a bold move aimed at distinguishing itself from other automakers. In addition, blockchain technology is convinced that the brand positions itself as a high-end manufacturer of the “ultimate driving machine”. The experience of car purchases has been known for long-term delays, dealers’ tricks and unethical behaviors, which have left many consumers uninterested. Blockchain is considered a subversive way of streamlining and digitizing ancient manual processes.

Therefore, BMW partnered with blockchain company SUC to launch a loan experience to streamline the car dealership process.

Simplify car dealership process

Through its “SUC partnership, BMW Financial Services is expected to launch a streamlined and easy loan experience to improve customer’s car buying process. Ian Smith, CEO of the Financial Services Division of BMW Group Asia, said BMW is “researching blocks” on how the chain ledger would supports the current shift in data warehousing, payment, and customer information tracking. “Ultimately, our goal is to enable BMW to automate large amounts of processing and improve information tracking and security.”

Jason discussed working with startups to drive new thinking, exploring new technologies and developing groundbreaking solutions. Bloom and five other startups will use automotive and finance professionals to work for 10 weeks at BMW’s office in Hilliard, Ohio.

Other partners from the same project including carLABS, which uses a cognitive, conversational AI-driven platform to automate automotive vertical sales and marketing. Another startup, Omniscience, is building underwriting and capital modeling solutions as part of an innovative analytics platform.

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Ledn Inc has become the first company to offer Canadian dollar loans to businesses or individuals accepting Bitcoin as collateral.

Founded by Bitcoin bull Mauricio Di Bartolomeo, Ledn is attempting to fill a gap in the market for Canadian citizens who need to borrow money but are unable to do so for whatever reason through the traditional banking sector. Bitcoin is a relatively popular investment choice for Canadians, with around 5% of the population reportedly owning the cryptocurrency.

The first of these loans have already been issued to Bylls, a Bitcoin payment processor operated by Satoshi Portal. Francis Pouliot, CEO of Satoshi Portal, explained that as a self-funded blockchain startup with profits in Bitcoin, it was never able to leverage capital for reinvestment as fiat-earning companies can. Using its Bitcoin funds as collateral for a loan means that the company does not have to sell its coins for new investment money. Using Bitcoin also to receive fiat credit also means it can avoid some of the price volatility of the cryptocurrency market.

There are some risks to this alternative loan method, however. One of these is custody issues; with no third party cryptocurrency custody service operating in Canada, Ledn is relying on cold wallets to store the funds which should theoretically make it impossible for hackers to gain access. If the loan recipient sends the Bitcoin to the wrong address they could also lose this money.

Market volatility means that margin calls are also a risk in the process, with assets potentially losing or gaining significantly in the space of hours, leading to difficulties between the two parties in terms of how much collateral needs to be sent. A sharp drop in the Bitcoin market could mean that the borrower no longer has enough to provide Ledn to get its loan.

Unchained Capital is a firm in the US that offers similar cryptocurrency-backed loans, although its target client is market investors.

Despite issues of volatility and custody, these emerging loans are offering a whole new way to do finance, recognizing cryptocurrency as a tangible asset that can be used and trusted. It brings a lot of potential for blockchain startups looking for funding but turned away from traditional loans because they do not operate primarily in fiat.

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Taiwan’s “Crypto Congressman” continued his push for more modernized regulation around the tech by proposing new rules for token sales.

On Friday, Taiwanese legislator Jason Hsu published a list of policy recommendations aimed at aiding cryptocurrency startups, including one that would see the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) create a new business category, as well as a new legal framework for security tokens.

Hsu also called for the Taiwanese legislature’s Finance Committee to issue guidelines for initial coin offerings (ICOs) with a focus on consumer protection. His proposal comes just days after the nation’s financial regulator announced it would set up ICO regulations within the next eight months.

The Taipei Times reported last week that Financial Supervisory Commission chairman Wellington Koo has told the committee that “national standards” for how ICOs should be conducted would be completed by June of next year.

He announced that these standards would likely outline how tokens may be classified as securities, but notably added that cryptocurrencies being used to purchase goods or act in a manner unrelated to securities offering would not fall under the new regulations.

Hsu’s proposed framework would go further, requiring the MOEA to develop new consumer protection and taxation guidelines, according to Friday’s press release.

He also suggested a specific proposal for security token offerings (STOs) based on the French Commercial Growth and Transformation Act and the U.S. Howey Test. If signed into law, his proposal would clarify which token sales would fall under the nation’s Securities and Exchange Act. STOs could also fall under equity crowd-funding rules and related laws, Hsu’s release noted.

This post is credited to coindesk