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blockchain in aviation image

Blockchain in Aviation: looking for transparency in the transparent?

The blockchain does one thing: It replaces third-party trust with mathematical proof that something happened. — Adam Draper

Airplanes. Airports. Cities. Countries.

Being a young girl with a fueled imagination I used to think that there is some kind of magic, which leads those huge metal birds into the air.

Spending a summer vacays in motherland may become impossible for a diaspora kid growing up in another country without those special buildings with distinct and entangled metamorphoses going around in it.

Growing up, understanding that under “magic” there is a much more likely a constructive explanation I’ve started to look closer every time I’ve got an opportunity to came back to the airports always buzzing with noises, goodbyes and serious people in ties.

On my way of becoming older with a constant appearings in the buildings, I’ve started to notice much more ways of the improvement of this special place

Working in an IT company, involved in the progress of the blockchain technology for more than a year, I’ve started to wonder, how DLT can change the efficiency of the Airport and make the traveling for people even more transparent, safe and easy.

So, please, fasten your seatbelt, dear reader, we are going on an adventure in the future of aviation!

Saying NO to the Overbooking

When Dr. David Dao was forcibly removed from his seat and dragged off of a United Airlines flight in April 2017, it was easy to blame the three Chicago police officers who did it as the primary culprits. The video was horrific, and the three officers eventually lost their jobs later that year. But was it really their fault, or were they simply doing their jobs? After all, it was United Airlines that overbooked the flight, not the police officers. After the investigation, it was found that the ticket was overbooked by 4 passengers.

Smart contracts and tokenized tickets may help ensure that a truly fixed number of tickets are issued. Airlines will often sell an excess number of tickets, banking on late cancellations, passengers missing their flights, or any other number of possibilities that could result in a plane flying at less than capacity. An empty seat is lost revenue for the airline, but when everybody shows up, someone’s plans have to change. Currently, airlines can feign ignorance as to why or how the flight was overbooked, but with tokenized ticket-issuance systems, more advanced features like flight-delay insurance and ticket bidding can help ensure that all parties make out economically without the need to overbook a flight.

Companies willing to make a change:

Flight Records Systems Security

“What the aerospace industry doesn’t know about its planes is costing it serious money.”

When Malaysian Airlines Flight 370 disappeared in March 2014, it immediately became one of the greatest mysteries in aviation history. With 239 people on board, a bizarre change in the flight pattern, and still no indication of where the wreckage may actually be, countless friends and family members still don’t know what happened. Even though one of the men on board was an IBM executive, and another was an actor cast in Netflix’s Marco Polo, the lack of solid information surrounding the flight continues to astound.

In the wake of the disappearance, Malaysia’s official response was slammedas “inaccurate, or at least incomplete” by a Chinese media organization, and it’s difficult to argue with the assessment. The lack of details about where the flight was headed and where it may be is a prime example that better oversight systems for such critical information are still needed.

Data pertaining to a given flight — manifests, baggage onboarding, flight path, and the like — carry varying degrees of importance. Some information may save serious time and effort, like a tracking down a lost bag more efficiently. Other information — like who was on a flight, where they sat, and where the flight was headed — could be the key to solving mysteries in the unfortunate event that a flight doesn’t reach its destination. Regardless of a piece of information’s use or relative importance, securing all flight-related intel remotely on a blockchain backup record would be an added measure of security to the centralized systems of today.

Companies willing to make a change:
SITA, British Airways, Heathrow Airport — Partnered to create a blockchain-secured data sharing model — Flight Chain

Identity management

In the airline sector, forging identities of individuals comes with serious threats, including the possibility of terrorist activity at airports or on flights. The adoption of blockchain in aviation will eliminate the pain and hassle of passengers waiting for long hours to verify their documents.

Passenger details like biometric data, required documents, and the ticket will be stored on a blockchain network. People while entering the airport can enter the unique code, for verifying themselves. The airport authorities, who are a member of the network, will be able to enter the check-in details for passenger’s further references.

The introduction of smart contracts automates paper-based airline operations, allowing airport authorities to take up other roles. As a result of this, increased productivity, accuracy, and efficiency will be achieved.

Companies willing to make a change:

Vchain — a patented blockchain SaaS solution for digital identity management.

Baggage Tracking

Every baggage will comprise of a unique code, which will be encrypted and stored on a blockchain network. During the check-in process, the luggage will be scanned and the location of it will be updated to the system in real-time. Every detail about the baggage, ranging from its unique code to the current location, will be updated on the blockchain network. The authorities and passengers can easily locate their luggage, if gone missing.

Companies willing to make a change:

BagX — a neutral blockchain platform for baggage handling developed by a Swiss-port team. This will make the process completely documentable and transparent across all the involved stakeholders.

Maintenance Transparency

Whether you own one plane or an entire airline, aircraft maintenance is neither cheap nor easy. The average hangar cost is $275 per month, plus an additional $100 for tie downs. Annual inspections can cost as much as $1,200 for small aircraft, and far more for commercial airliners (which must be inspected far more frequently). Then there are factors such as gas and oil, part depreciation, and insurance to consider. Airliners have much steeper costs associated with them, an average of $1,430 in maintenance per flight hour. Supply chain costs related to aircraft maintenance accounted for 80% of direct maintenance spending in 2009, and is likely higher now.

We’ve all experienced the dreaded “creeping delay” at the airport. It seems to get longer and longer due to some unspecified maintenance issue. These delays cost countless amounts of money and are responsible for much of airline travel’s poor reputation. Between June 2015 and June 2016, more than 1 million flights were delayed, with those delays chewing up approximately 64 million minutes worth of their passengers’ time. About 50% of those delays are due to controllable factors, like aircraft maintenance.

Several industry leaders are in the works developing systems by which maintenance issues can be more easily foreseen and dealt with using blockchain distributed ledger technology. Tracing individual parts to gauge their fitness for flight and anticipate declines in their quality is one use of the technology, as is providing a more connected record for maintenance-related departments to rely upon. These uses could cut down on the one thing that gives airlines and passengers the most consistent trouble: delays.

Companies willing to make a change:

  • Accenture — Prototype for aviation manufacturing and parts provenance.
  • Aeron — Better data traceability and management for aviation firms.
  • Lufthansa — Launched blockchain innovation challenge to tackle transparency issues.
  • 500labs — a decentralized data network for the global aviation industry to mitigate the effects of flight delays, among other things.

Airline Alliance Revenue Sharing

The first airline alliance was established over 21 years ago, and while the nature of revenue sharing between partnered airlines has evolved over the years, it remains an integral part of the commercial aviation sector. Today, there are three major airline alliances: Star Alliance, SkyTeam, and Oneworld.

Star Alliance was founded by member airlines United, Scandinavian, Thai, Lufthansa, and Air Canada, and has expanded to a roster of 27 airlines, covering 18,800 daily flights to 1,300 destinations across 193 countries. SkyTeam is the newest of the alliances, founded in 2000 by Delta, Aeromexico, Air France, and Korea Air, totaling 20 members with a reach not far off of Star’s. Last but not least, Oneworld, founded by American Airlines, British Airways, Qantas, Cathay Pacific, and Canadian Airlines, teamed up in 1999 to provide a more intelligent revenue-sharing model and greater array of connection options for passengers of its airlines. These alliances have necessitated revenue-sharing algorithms, but they remain flawed. They lack measures to prevent inter-airline squabbles and time delays that defeat the purpose of cooperation among member airlines.

Cooperation among airlines can make sense economically, especially in terms of the less quantifiable PR aspect. When a flight is cancelled or international connections run thin, the ability to tap into partner airlines to accommodate passengers is invaluable, both in terms of preserving revenue for the airline and ensuring that passengers don’t miss critical plans or meetings. That said, revenue sharing systems remain complex and fragmented. The ability to rely upon a unified system that could use algorithms to immediately settle predetermined revenue shares among cooperating airlines would reduce costs, improve timeliness, and result in more customers reaching their destinations in a reasonably timely manner.

Streamlined Frequent Flyer Programs

Many airlines have frequent flyer programs (FFPs) that allow airlines customers to accumulate points which can then be redeemed for air travel. Member of loyalty programs that travel with a partner airline may want to have their points or miles reconciled at their customer account which can be a time-consuming and error prone process.

One way that airlines could take better advantage of customer loyalty is to merge alliance member airlines to provide a more appealing frequent flyer package. This would foster a greater likelihood that passengers would actually redeem their accrued miles, therefore being incentivized to earn them in the first place. With a wider array of airlines to choose from, frequent flyer programs could become more appealing than they already are, and the blockchain could serve as a platform to seamlessly integrate revenue sharing and automated point redemption in a cost-effective manner.

Companies willing to make a change:

  • Singapore Airlines — Tokenizing frequent flyer programs.
  • Loyyal — Smart contract based loyalty solutions
  • Sweetbridge: a virtual blockchain-based marketplace with a scalable solution for multi-vendor loyalty programs.

Multi-Tier Oversight in Private and Commercial Flights

Fortunately, flight, and commercial aviation especially, has become a safe proposition. According to many metrics, 2017 was the safest year in the history of commercial air travel. When hijackings, suicide, and sabotage are accounted for, 59 people died worldwide as a result of commercial aircraft accidents or malfunctions, which is a modest number considering the sheer volume of daily flights spanning the world.

However, these statistics, though low, cannot be assessed lightly — each life is a life, after all. No story brings that fact to life quite like the case of the Brazilian Chapecoense soccer team, who were on their way to an unlikely championship match when their plane crashed into a mountainside in Medellin, Colombia, killing 71 of the 77 passengers. The pilot had chosen not to refuel in an effort to save money — precisely the sort of decision that should be taken out of the hands of humans with an inordinate financial stake in such choices.

One of blockchain technology’s primary benefits is the ability for several parties to access the ledger, regardless of their location. This decentralized facet could set in place a system of checks and balances that would regulate pilots and owners of private airlines, who may otherwise be tempted to cut corners in order to save money. Whether this involves regulatory agencies, specific airports, or organizations will be determined on a case-by-case basis, but if blockchain can help prevent another Chapecoense, it is a cause well worth pursuing.

Companies willing to make a change:

  • Avinoc — a freely available, transparent database for the coordination of private business flights — without a third party intermediary.
  • 14bls — Supply Tracking a blockchain technology that allows the supply chain of aircraft components to be documented thoroughly and with absolute transparency.
  • Sorablocks — a blockchain-based platform for the aviation industry, which brings transparency to the management of kerosene across all airlines and airports.
  • Skyy network — a blockchain-based solution that consolidates the aviation management of drones in a decentralized and clearly regulated system, enabling the rule-based and automated operations of drones.

I would like to conclude with the stress of your attention to the research made by IATA (The International Air Transport Association). The documentexplores blockchain, its potential, and the challenges, though the focus is on public blockchains. It outlines a substantial vision in both breadth and depth.

Reference:

https://www.disruptordaily.com/blockchain-use-cases-aviation/

https://blockchain-x.eu/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/flightchain-whitepaper.pdf

https://hackernoon.com/5-global-domains-that-will-transform-blockchain-in-aviation-by-2025-2j1cx3v08

https://www2.deloitte.com/content/dam/Deloitte/ie/Documents/Tax/ie-blockchain-a-game-changer-in-aircraft-leasing.pdf

https://www.bbntimes.com/en/technology/blockchain-in-the-aviation-industry

https://www.ledgerinsights.com/sita-blockchain-changing-air-industry/

https://www.pwc.com/gx/en/aerospace-defence/assets/data-for-the-life-of-the-aircraft.pdf

https://www.pwc.com/gx/en/industries/aerospace-defence/publications/blockchain-in-aerospace.html

https://www.asiablockchainreview.com/blockchain-effect-on-sea-aviation/

https://www.iata.org/publications/Pages/blockchain.aspx

Anton Mozgovoy at ChainPoint

Nooor talks: Anton Mozgovoy

ChainPoint 19 Conference — an international blockchain conference that we at Nooor hosted earlier in October become a platform for people involved in the industry to get acquainted with the ones who strive to make a change and share the ideas of disruptive nature of the distributed ledger technology as much in masses as possible.

Anton Mozgovoy was one of our speakers during the ChainPoint 19 Conference. Being a really promising young man, an interesting individual, public speaker — he has the exact mindset to become the one that will catch your eye and make you wonder of how you wouldn’t think of the possibilities that the blockchain technology can serve in a synergy with other technologies and the way it possibly can change our world for the better.

Not forget to mention, Anton is currently a Head of a product called Jthereum — a software that gives you an opportunity to write and deploy Ethereum smart contracts in Java (kudos to the developers here!), and is one of our lecturers during our educational course — The Blockchain Challenger vol.3!

Nooor talks, 5 Questions, and Anton Mozgovoy. Here we go!

  1. How important is education in the blockchain, and what will it take to undergo a complete adoption?

That is a very contradicting question. On one hand, education is a vital part of any emerging technology adoption. On the other hand, mass adoption does not depend on people’s understanding of how blockchain works. After all, most people will resist change or the need to learn new ideas. Therefore, the more subtle the changes they have to make the more likely they will adopt new technology.

That leads us to the point that Blockchain as a consumer-oriented technology still needs to pass through numerous iterations in order to become user friendly.

2. What fascinates you personally about Distributed Ledger Technology in the context of technology, economy and society?

Unfortunately, today the majority of blockchain projects are aimed at raising funds and generating profits with meaningless products. Yet, two main areas of DLT development excites me the most are stable coins and social impact. I wrote articles on both, and you can read more about stable coins and social impact.

To me, the biggest hidden gem about Blockchain is the ability to design technology to help those in need, through joint efforts of the community, solve acute social problems and conduct non-commercial activities in the fields of ecology, health, and education.

3. If I am a 6 y/o how would you explain to me what blockchain is?

To be honest, today’s 6-year olds are so tech-savvy, that probably as they grow up DeFi will feel so natural to them, they won’t even bother. But let me try to explain what is blockchain. Remember the game when each kid writes a word on a paper, and then scrolls it and passes to the next kid so on and so on? So, in the end, we roll up the paper and read those funny gibberish sentences? Well, blockchain is a tool that will allow us to see if anyone changed their word after they already wrote it. If they did — we’ll know who exactly was that and what was the initial word. That is blockchain.

4. In which areas do developers in the community and IT industry still have to accelerate their efforts?

Regulation. The first thing that comes to my mind is regulation. To drive Blockchain adoption, the industry needs to mature. One of the ways to do that is to create a clear and precise regulatory framework. It is a joint effort from both regulators, and industry players.

5. As you were a part of ChainPoint 19 Conference, what can be the feedback about Armenia and its potential to become a leader in the blockchain space?

Blockchain is still an emerging global market. Just recently China has announced a nation-wide Blockchain development program. This move alone will create a massive race between countries. Armenia has a very strong position and an opportunity to be among the Blockchain leading countries. ChainPoint 19 Conference is exactly what Armenia needs to attract not only international leaders but also local great minds.

Blockchain in Horeca

Blockchain in HORECA Part 2 – Restaurants

Food. Food. Food… did I mention food?

The one thing without which it is impossible to imagine the existence of a creature with a beating heart and breathing lungs. To have a meetup with friends, to meet a business partner, or just to treat yourself-  we are usually going to restaurants because we want to feel special in the warm embrace of food; that someone made just for us, and just for the pleasure of our taste buds.

In this perfect food paradise, what can blockchain possibly change?

The truth is that trust is a fragile thing. I mean, break that perfect food paradise even once, and people will never forget. Blockchain is about trust and transparency. So how can we implement this glorious technology in restaurants?

Let’s find it out!

Elimination of food fraud cases

What some may not consider is that the fake goods market can be deadly, especially when it comes to the glut of fake food, drink, and formula being pushed across the globe. In 2017, Brazil — already in the throes of political scandal, a violent crime wave, and economic uncertainty — was struck with the “mother of all food fraud cases.” Several companies, including meat packing titans JBS S.A. and BRF S.A. were at the centre of an investigation dubbed “Operation Weak Flesh.” The companies were found to be issuing bribes to food inspectors, which allowed them to export rotten meat across countries, using acid to camouflage foul odors and disguising cheap imitations for higher-priced meat items.

Brazil isn’t alone in the world of food fraud. China’s “food safety” policies are notoriously lax — to the point of comedy, if the stakes weren’t so high. Among 900 “meat fraud” arrests in China in 2013, one that stood out was the arrest of a gang of fraudsters allegedly using chemicals to transform rat meat to take on a more mutton-like appearance. 2016 was a particularly bad year, with headlines including “The Parmesan Cheese You Sprinkle On Your Penne Could Be Wood.”

The blockchain’s ability to oversee products’ movements along a supply chain allows for easier identification of the source of contamination or counterfeit. This allows suppliers and restaurants to state definitively to their customers what the issue was, and ensure that the unsatisfactory product has been excised from the inventory. Overall, this means fewer cases of contaminated foods, less inventory unnecessarily trashed, and more hard-earned reputations preserved.

Companies willing to make a change

  • Zego – Blockchain based provenance solution used to identify harmful chemicals in Monsanto foods.
  • TE-Food – Farm to table food traceability.  
  • Connecting Food – Tracing food along the supply chain, from farm to the point of sale.

Reducing Food Waste

From a class of third graders to a lecture hall full of grown adults, lecturing a crowd about the perils of food waste is one sure-fire way to induce a collective eye-roll. Yet, it’s actually a very important topic. An astounding one-third of the food produced on the earth for human consumption goes to waste. That one-third is the equivalent of 1.3 billion tons each year! And it’s the food that’s best for us, fruits and vegetables, that tends to go down the drain or to the dump most often.

While grocers and even fast food restaurants often get criticized for throwing away “perfectly good” food, statistics show us that consumers probably would have ended up throwing away excess or barely-expired food, anyway. According to the New York Times, around 40% of wasted food in developed countries is thrown out by the consumer, not the seller.  Food waste is sometimes unavoidable; that’s in part because our systems for planning, picking, shipment, and purchase are often not nearly strategic or data-driven enough.

Those who make their money in food sales know that over-ordering, spoilage, and contamination seriously hurt the bottom line, too. Monitoring products more closely by utilizing a blockchain record of customer buying patterns, a product’s life course before and after it is in a grocer or restaurateurs’ possession, and even more insightful intel will help those in the food service industry make informed decisions to minimize food waste.

Companies willing to make a change

  • Goodr – Blockchain based platform to reduce food waste/inefficiency.

Restaurant Management Processes

In 2018, San Francisco became the “first major city” to adopt a $15 minimum wage, but they are far from the first city to take such a step toward raising the wage floor for the lowest-paid employees.

Though there are plenty of studies touting the benefits of such a wage increase, the effect that a higher-paid workforce will have on industries that rely on low-skilled workers remains unclear. The rise of completely-automated restaurants such as Spyce Kitchen is, as they describe, an almost direct response to the likelihood that chefs, servers, bussers, and other restaurant employees are almost certain to account for greater shares of the operating budget going forward.  

Automation is set to fundamentally alter the food service sector. This is not a matter of if, but of when and how. The incorporation of smart contract technology could underpin transactions between humans and kiosks, and a network of sensors could provide data about customer purchase patterns and food quality standards — standardized information that could also be stored on the blockchain for analysis by decision makers within a company regardless of their location. These are just two examples of how the blockchain may come to play a role in increasingly automated processes in the food service sphere.

Companies willing to make a change

  • Mobivity Blockchain based loyalty programs for restaurants.

Food Supply Chain Provenance

Back in the day, there was a general trust among consumers and retailers across industry lines that goods being sold would be of a certain quality and safety standard. Perhaps that was naïve, but today there’s no doubt that how a product was made, how and where it was grown — was this Kobe beef educated in private or public school? — and virtually every other specification you can imagine is required for consumers to sleep soundly at night.

Admittedly, the pickiness doesn’t come without good reason. Perhaps you can recall one of the many outbreaks of mad cow disease; they occurred in 1986, 1988, 1989, the early 90s, 1993, the mid-90s, 1995, 1996…to be honest, basically every year. In each of these instances, it would have been a help and comfort to be able to trace the meat back to its source. In the recent past, high-profile chains, such as Chipotle, have suffered serious revenue and PR hits thanks to E. coli, while fraudulent products — see: the 2003 European horsemeat scandal — are also a concern to safety, our consciences, and palettes. Standards are only going to get more stringent for grocers and restaurateurs going forward; turns out, millennials want ethically sourced food, and they want it to go.

When outbreaks of foodborne illness occur, the restaurants or grocery stores that served the food are often left wringing their hands, promising to get to the bottom of it. But blockchain track-and-trace will help them immediately track affected items to their origins, locating the issue quickly so they can remove the contaminated products from menus, shelves, and supply chains. If participants on a chain log information pertaining to a food product’s growth method, harvest, and shipment, consumers will no longer be limited to the trust that comes with sell-by dates and the often misleading appearance of a product.  

They will have a verifiable record of how a steak was raised or a vegetable grown when it was shipped, when it arrived in store, and how long it has been sitting on the shelf. This, in turn, will differentiate the grocers and restaurants with best practices from those hocking nearly-expired products to an unsuspecting consumer base.

Companies willing to make a change

Proving Marketing/Label Claims

Labelling a product as organic, cruelty-free, or sustainable is a popular marketing tactic. But have you ever wondered what those labels really mean? Who determines if something is organic, how do they do it, and can we trust it?

The food industry is notorious for espousing false, intentionally misleading claims about products for the sake of appealing to a healthier or trendier consumer base. The reality is that for those who don’t have a Ph.D. in reading the back of a product label, deciphering the fakers from the honest can be extremely difficult, if not impossible. In fact, 50% of Americans find food labels to be misleading.

It’s easy to see why consumers feel misled when a closer examination of specific claims is conducted. For instance, many probably don’t know that “non-GMO” is a completely different claim from “certified non-GMO,” or that “low calorie” generally means that any subtracted calories have been replaced with a chemical sweetener. Another common practice that the untrained consumer’s eye may gloss over is the reality that “multigrain” is not nearly as healthy as it sounds, or that darker breads and items aren’t always healthier — a common conception — because some are injected with caramel colouring to imitate healthier grains. It’s no wonder why trust in the food industry is so degraded.

Blockchain ledgers offer consumers the opportunity to trace a product back to its source, and the technology could provide a standard of provenance that food producers will conform to if they seek to remain competitive. This means not just claiming that a product is organic, but proving it, too. Same goes for products that claim to be GMO-free, etc. If consumers know a company’s labelling is backed by a traceable, immutable blockchain system, trust will inevitably increase.

Once one honest producer puts their blockchain where their mouth is, the rest of the industry will have little room not to do the same, and a more accurate picture of labels’ and marketing campaigns’ respective honesty will emerge.

Companies willing to make a change

  • Deloitte Advising on the use of blockchain provenance for label verification.

Quality Reviews

False and misleading restaurant reviews are a problem for both restaurants and customers. Because reviews can be written without knowing the identity of the author, it’s difficult to know which comments are honest and which are fabricated to help or hurt an establishment.

When reviews are stored on a blockchain, they can’t be altered, and users and restaurants can’t delete or create new accounts to wipe away bad reviews. This keeps reviews, and the subsequent recommendations of machine-learning algorithms, above board and honest.

Companies willing to make a change

  • SynchroLifefirst social restaurant review platform that offers blockchain based token rewards to users for high-quality restaurant review content.

With the technologies developing and current disruption in different industries, it is important to take out the best from both sides and collide it onto the newest and better alternative. Restaurants are always there to give us the rest and pleasure needed.

If blockchain has the potential to make it better, then we are willing to wait for it!

Sources:

https://www.forbes.com/sites/samantharadocchia/2018/04/26/3-innovative-ways-blockchain-will-build-trust-in-the-food-industry/#10dbc8632afc

https://www.disruptordaily.com/blockchain-use-cases-food-service/

https://www.blockchain-council.org/blockchain/how-can-a-restaurant-use-blockchain-technology/

https://www.forbes.com/sites/jennysplitter/2018/09/30/what-can-blockchain-really-do-for-the-food-industry/#1834740c488e

https://www.business.com/articles/blockchain-restaurant-benefits/

Geography with nooor

Geography with Nooor: Cyprus Overview

With the blossoming of the new season, we are launching our new initiative: Geography with Nooor!

During these BLOCKpost series, we will discuss our partners worldwide, represent the opportunities that the countries offer, tell more about the blockchain associations, the challenges that the technology is facing in the region, and the possible solutions it may find. We will share more insights of the communities, and simply show you the world- through the eyes of the Armenian Blockchain Association.

This time we want you to have a closer look at the wonderful country of Cyprus and the preconditions for  blockchain development in the region.

Cyprus is an alluring island located in the Mediterranean Sea, famous for its golden sand beaches, burning sun and warm climate. Tasty food, breathtaking monuments…and you actually feel the breath of history in the air. But what about blockchain technology? Blockchain technology is developing drastically in Cyprus, and it is representing itself as a country with continuously improving opportunities for blockchain & AI startups, projects and companies.

It is worth mentioning that last year CySEC (Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission) launched an Innovations Hub Initiative, with the sole purpose of providing a helping hand to local digital, AI or Blockchain startups, providing co-working space, mentoring and guidance for new projects.

Moreover, CySEC  has launched a consultation paper on the 19th of February 2019, proposing to bring Crypto Asset Activities under the ambit of  AML Law, in order to tackle Money Laundering Risks.  

One of the representatives of our peer community in Cyprus is Universal Crypto – based in  Limassol, Cyprus, they are offering educational and analytical consultancy services, tailored for individuals, corporations, or governmental bodies. They believe that the implementation of cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology could drive the island to tremendous development. Thanks to George Agathangelou, for the informative intro to the beautiful community in Cyprus.

As stated by   Bogdan Maslesa, CEO of Universal Crypto,” there are three main challenges for blockchain technology  that Cyprus is facing:

  • Lack of interest & knowledge bearing in mind public and governmental sector
  • Banking cryptocurrency restrictions
  • Regulatory Framework.

The main insights are the solutions that Bogdan has shared with us. They are as follows:

  1. By creating digital currency, physical and digital communities, spreading the word, working on an educational product ourselves. Hosting Blockchain meet-ups and bigger events such as Nakamoto’s Den.
  2. The Cypriot banks were very reluctant to deal with cryptocurrency deposits and withdrawals from crypto exchanges, and to a certain extent, not much has improved. As such, we have had to take an alternative banking route via Revolt and Wirex, for example.

We are also happy to mention that  Cyprus Blockchain Association,  founded and lead by Yiannis Meanalou, is among our partners as well! He expressed his vision towards the challenges that the blockchain community of Cyprus is facing nowadays:” Cyprus is considered one of the pioneers in the blockchain space. Our founders and members have been early adopters of the technologies and the cryptos. We have represented Cyprus in major global economic and blockchain events, such as the World Economic Forum in St. Petersburg, Japan Blockchain Conference, Decentralized Conferences and other major events all over the world. Cyprus is offering advanced educational studies via universities and institutional bodies, fintech and financial companies are already involved in applications such as payments, trading and certifications.

The main challenge is the same as the universal target: the mass adoption and regulation. Companies started to commercialize solutions that will be used on everyday operations and the regulators have started following the space and issuing statements. Incentives have been given for startups, but the grey field of regulation is still a major worry for new initiatives wanting to have the benefit of the Cypriot financial system.”

The partnership with Cyprus Blockchain Association is followed by the partnership with a Think-tank for Blockchain & Distributed Ledger Technology Applications – The Cyprus Blockchain Technologies (CBT) Ltd. which is a  non-profit organisation established as a collaboration among academic institutions, local regulators, financial institutions and other technology associations and companies. Theodosis Mourouzis, founder and CEO of CBT, is  part of an EU board for Blockchain applications representing Cyprus. Apparently, Cyprus is closer than ever to the approval a DLT strategy!

By representing itself as a bridge of knowledge between academics and enthusiasts, their main purpose is to conduct cutting-edge research in the fields of Blockchain and Distributed Applications.

 We are repeating over and over again, that education is one of the most important fields to develop if you are talking about technology such as a blockchain. You need to educate first, explain and showcase the possibilities that this wonderful technology can have. If you will just raise a glass to the 4th industrial revolution!

We are keeping our fingers on the pulse and aiming to have as many of the TOP academia partners as it is possible, to give the best opportunities to our community, and have the best practices to create our own course; for you, for us and for our future.

That’s why we are more than happy to say, that The University of Nicosia is the Academia Partner of Nooor Armenian Blockchain Association.

Soulla Louca, Professor and Director of the Blockchain Initiative School of Business in The University of Nicosia, framed that, UNIC is  the first EVER university in the world to:

  • Accept Bitcoin for tuition for any degree program at the university (since October 2013).
  • Teach a university-level course on cryptocurrency (since January 2014) in the form of an online free MOOC (Introduction to Digital Currencies). The course is taught by Andreas Antonopoulos, the author of Mastering Bitcoin, one of the most popular blockchain books in the world and the CEO of the University of Nicosia, Antonis Polemitis.
  • Launch an accredited academic degree program taught online in English (MSc in Digital Currency, March 2014), currently with over 500 students.
  • Issue academic certificates onto the Bitcoin blockchain (since September 2015). For example, it already worked with UAE to implement their blockchain certificate platform and have ongoing conversations with other universities across the world.

There are lots of opportunities that the community offers and we are there to bring more added value to the partnership for both parties and the global blockchain community.

With the tremendous amount of experience and expertise, partnering with fellow organizations around the globe, we are painting the picture of Armenia more vividly, creating a charming and alluring base for entrepreneurs and startups.

Keep holding on to our Geography with Nooor initiative, we have lots of things to share!

Noooring the March

Noooring the month: March

Roses are red, Violets are blue,

You love us too much,

As much as we do.

Welcome to our monthly Nooor overview, fellas!

March was full of events and new partnerships for Nooor. The month brought the best opportunities to show Armenia from the Blockchain and Tech side, along with presenting its possibilities to the international network. We have had extremely exciting plans and long planning sessions.

First and foremost, this month Nooor initiated the development of the legislation regarding Crypto and token regulations in Armenia, in cooperation with Elawphant  law firm.  Yep, sounds damn serious, and it is serious! So, at the moment we have created a working group on crypto policy to process the development of the law, that will take the growth of the industry to the next level.  

Fingers crossed, heart beating fast, wish us luck!

In March our partners shared information about upcoming events; we are happy to share some info with you:

  • Our partners from France are organizing  The Paris Blockchain Week which will take place on April 13- 19th, 2019 as a series of events under the High Patronage of the Ministry for the Economy and Finance and the Secretary of State for Digital Affairs of France. The flagship event of the above mentioned Paris Blockchain Week will be the Paris Blockchain Week Summit  which will take place  16-17th of April 2019 –  that will gather 3,000 French and international professionals of the industry. The Paris Blockchain Week Summit will be an exclusive opportunity to show Paris as the European capital of blockchain and crypto-asset fundraising.
  • Our partner from China- International Consensus Association is organizing a series of events specifically for startups to boost the development of blockchain projects. ICA is a co-host with the government of China for the meetup, and interested to invite worldwide Blockchain-based projects to China. The meet-up events with the future possibility of fundraising are going to take place in March and April in three cities of China.
  • Our partners from Malta are organizing  Malta AI & Blockchain Summit on May 22nd to 25th in St. Julians, Malta. The summit promises to be increasing in both size and scope, reflecting the hypervelocity of advances and immense opportunities that the sector has seen over recent months. They will host two shows this year – the first in May, and the second in November.  

We’ve gotten to know a number of service providers and investment funds, during the March that we have behind us- by establishing goood relations with Infinity Blockchain Ventures and Better Alternatives. Bearing in mind the wide spectre of their doings and the services they offer, we provide these opportunities to the members of the Armenian community that can be used for the better development of projects, startups and teams.

Moreover, we’ve partnered with the Portuguese Blockchain Alliance, Blockchain Costa Rica, Blockchain Colombia and Australian Digital Commerce Association. With the beginning of partnerships with the above-mentioned organizations, we have created a platform for information and experience exchange, implementation of joint activities, as well as created ties to boost the development of digital economies of involved countries and, most importantly, we marked the spots of presence for Armenia globally.  

Additionally, we are more than happy to say, that The University of Nicosia is the Academia Partner of Nooor Armenian Blockchain Association. With this partnership, we are presenting expertise and a wide range of opportunities to our community, as well as offering their Digital Currency MC.

They say, that with March ending, people are reborn, and after the wild and cold winter, our souls begin to blossom with the unknown-to-nature flowers, coupled with the undefinable smell of flourishing opportunities of the time!  We, as never before, feel the warm embrace of spring on our shoulders and open up our exhausted, winterish souls to the warmth of the Season, which will bring so many new emotions, opportunities and memories.

Global blockchain hub – are not just words in the air.

We are working night and day and this huge dream of ours is keeping us awake, and to be honest, it started to improve itself by becoming a reality.

Stay tuned, this is just the beginning!

Blockchain with a pinch of tenderness

Let me guess the first feeling you had when you weren’t even born yet. When the world was going through its usual circle, but without your existence in it.

At this moment you perceive this text diligently through the prism of your understandings, and your memory keeps alive all the moments that matter, all the emotions that are important and the moments that are dear to your heart. In the same instant, memories also keep the worst of your lives episodes, the devastation and hardships.

But there are several years that your mind just blows away with time, where you were so tiny and new to the world- a world that had been waiting for you for too long. I’ll give you the moment of silence at my keyboard so you can try to remember. No? Nothing?…Exactly!

Our minds cleared away the most precious memory of our first ever feeling – tenderness.

Tenderness of the first voice that you have ever heard. The first touch that calmed you in a wild-wild world of misunderstandings. And there was a woman who was by your side all the time. Your mom. The one, with whom you were from the beginning. Who has a part in your soul, who was there even when the world was only yours and hers.

Tenderness – since the beginning.

So why can’t we claim that blockchain has its tenderness, or that during its creation, behind the technology was the one, who gave that tenderness not only to her child but also to humanity by inventing the technology of the century?

Everyone is so confident in the fact that Satoshi Nakamoto (the creator of blockchain)  is a man, or a group of men, therefore, automatically eliminating the possibility of a woman being the main figure behind the creation of this technology.

– Satoshi Nakamoto is a man!

– No, you dummy, it is a group of people!

– Oh, sure, ha-ha a woman? Keep yourself together!  They are just women and they have no place in technology like this.

-… Um, excuse me?  

Can you imagine for a second what would it be if a woman was behind of the creation of blockchain technology?

  • She would have made it damn hard to understand ( probably, that’s why men are trying too hard to understand women, hence creating tons of books on: “How to understand a woman”,  ” What a girl wants?” and so on)
  • She would probably add some spice by creating a currency, so men can compete  with each other on having most of it. Just like you asked your mom to buy you more toys, when you already had enough.
  • Also, she would have made it fair and logical. YES, LOGICAL! Breaking the stereotypes at its finest.
  • And lastly, she would add some tenderness, by making you think that she is a Satoshi Nakamoto, a Man not a Woman, so your ego will give in by a tender grasp of a lady.

Well, let’s be adults for a second, ok? Do we actually care if it is a man or a woman? Is it THAT important?  Maybe we will never ever find out about the real identity of the creator. Maybe we will, maybe even today or a year after, who knows? What really matters is that we are living in the  21st century, where genders are starting to create and learn with the same rights and opportunities.

We shouldn’t  have to emphasise that a woman achieved something in tech and be like “…she’s a woman and we will let her talk”.  NO! We need to perceive both women and men NOT by their gender, but for their ideas, skills and experience.

We decided to trust math and logic instead of people in suits. Let’s trust in knowledge – not in gender.  

Tenderness was there from the beginning. Tenderness is in the knowledge, cause tenderness is  power!

So embrace that power and stop labelling capacities of people in different spheres based on their gender, race or nation.

Blockchain is leaving you weaponless, as you are dealing with the transparent network where the technology sees only the true potential and bright ideas shining within yourself.

By being the technology of the future, the peer to peer network already doesn’t care about your gender, as all the participants, creators and contributors are coming as peer nodes, hence, making your physical appearance invisible. Regardless if you are a man or woman, black or white, Asian or Armenian, blockchain technology perceives you as a peer node,  that can push things forward without centralizing on who you are and what you can “do”. Blockchain is here to make a difference!

That’s why I’m asking you to take a deep breath and focus on your memories. Try to find that very first feeling of tenderness. Eventually, you will discover the tremendous warmth, that will fill you up with enthusiasm and empathy.

Embrace the power. Embrace the tenderness.

noooring the winter

Noooring the season – Winter

The seasons replace one another- like the moon replaces the sun in the sky, and hours replace minutes within the day. Day by day, year by year – in spite of everything, the internal clocks of the Earth are ticking and moving as an imperceptible testimony of our existence.  

Snow is melting (ha-ha, we’ve had an amazing winter in Yerevan, haven’t we?), and the warm breath of spring has already been felt.  Hence, it is the right time to appreciate the winter and give the last credits to this amazing, cold-hearted lady, which left something for everyone in the winter of 2019, ‘cause – ♫♪ cold never bothered us anyway ♫ –  right?

Nooor has gained strategic partners around the world; partnering with even more Blockchain-oriented Associations and NGOs.

Moreover, we are going global; by showing our presence in different countries and showcasing ourselves on various platforms. Shaping the people’s opinion about Armenia, and making it more visible for foreigners.

We are able to see how many people actually understand Armenia with all of its benefits, as well as track how many people have Armenian roots, during our calls and meetups with representatives of different associations, consortiums, think-tanks, etc.

By creating a bridge between different associations and having reliable partner organizations around the globe, we are bringing international attention to the region, hence, lots of future collaborations and possibilities for new projects, new connections and an absolutely new level of improvement, not only for Armenia but also to the whole region in general.

Becoming a global blockchain hub – are not just words uttered into the air. It is a real representation of our activities outside, our willingness to help those who are seeking either our support or assistance Consequently, this winter was full of connections and opportunities, which made us much closer to the global blockchain hub- closer than we have ever been before.

Winter brings out the best of our ability to connect people with service providers, startups with ventures, and simply, people with people. The world starts with a connection, and we are a part of it.

Community matters the most- education is above everything. We are doing our best to find those, with the finest expertise, to enlighten our community. If we have this enormous tech potential, which is visible in the global market, how can we not take advantage of this amazing potential in blockchain?

First, we need to educate, then – wait for the results to come. The development seeks the knowledge- that’s an unbreakable axiom.

Nooor in numbers

Hours spent on calls – 32

Negotiations initiated – 64

Partnerships established – 47

Spring is already here. Let’s make the best out of this beautiful season, and use the spring awakening of our souls as a driving force to achieve all of our goals and plans!

Mother Armenia

Will blockchain become BlockchainYAN? Or blockchain with Armenian charm.

The world is spinning around incredibly fast. During the past twenty years we have witnessed a period of innovations, new beginnings and the creation of a totally different world; with new technologies without which it is almost impossible to imagine 21 century. With giving human breath to the machines, and made them think like creatures with a beating heart. With the medicine that is trying to cure every existing disease, making every life count, ​bearing in mind that ​everyone can make a difference. With the internet, which simplifies life to its core, giving access to unlimited information. With digitalization of almost everything we touch. We have witnessed the creation of blockchain, which keeps your data safe and promises to change the world even more, by reshaping several realms of your world and mine, in the span of the next several years.

As an Armenian, I know that a small country can make a difference. I know, that after a devastating and inhumane period of time in the history of the world, a nation can be reborn and blossom with brighter colours. The world was spinning all the way through our hardships and happiness. It is spinning around right now, as you are reading this text. Standing in front of the constant development of the world, understanding that I can’t change the process; I decided to predict it.

So, as I mentioned above, blockchain aims to change several spheres of our world. I’m willing to not only define already existing predictions, but also imply those onto Armenian reality. And don’t tell me later I didn’t warn you (the wind of change is coming for ya :D)

Security

First and foremost, blockchain is about security. Decentralized data storage, virtually unhackable due to the algorithm? Yes. This is the reality we are living in. I’m not saying you will not use google drive or any cloud based app. But after the Cambridge Analytica and Snowden cases, can you ever fully trust centralized data storage? ? With blockchain, it is impossible to collect all information from different accounts into one place. It is decentralized, and only you are the king of your data.

Just to mention, even blockchain can’t do anything about your relatives or neighbors, who are occasionally sharing your data without your permission.
(Armenian care is just another level of caring at all. Obviously, out of the spinning world). Let’s hope, that we will change that, once we will get older.

Financial technology

Bitcoin is the word around which we have all this hype. Even though, blockchain is not only for bitcoin, banking is the most developed sphere of blockchain implementation. With faster
transactions, no government control or any other third parties, it has made some steps towards reshaping the banking systems in several countries.

Armenia doesn’t have any regulations from the Central Bank of Armenia, or any law, banning cryptos.Probably, dram (Armenian currency) has enough courage to not respond to the worlds hype around his fellow competitor – bitcoin.
We hope, that one day Crypto and FIAT can work in sync at government level. Who knows, maybe Armenia is the next country in the region to change its banking system for good ? Maybe that’s why they’ve changed the way dram looks recently? Make it water resilient and fancier? 10 points goes to … Dram! Come on bitcoin! Show Armenia what you’ve got!

Politics

Oh, I know! We have been talking about politics maybe a little too much within the last year, due to the Velvet Revolution and elections of the new parliament. You have my promise, I’m not going to talk about past political events again. Instead we will look into the depth of our nearest future.
Blockchain will disrupt a voting system, that’s for sure! Imagine absolutely transparent, automatized voting, without a tiny possibility of a falsification? Looks damn good, right? Blockchain will keep your future in its tight warm hug and what is really important, is that it won’t let bad guys steal that beauty from you !

Armenia has already proved to the world, that it is possible to have a peaceful revolution and stand for what is right. So, why can’t we as Armenians stand for transparent votings? ​If we are the peaceful nation with a burning heart of changes, we need blockchain like a flower needs water. Let’s wait a bit, maybe that wind of change is on its way!

The world is spinning around incredibly fast, my friend. You are the one who needs to decide, whether you are spinning around with it, swallowing all possible information, or are you staying still in the box of your comfort zone, arguing with the wall about the life you are living in, and the world that dares to spin without any rest for more than 4.5 billion years.