This week in tech: Blockchain tops the list of in-demand skills

Blockchain has spread its wings to virtually every other industry in the world, and this is driving demand for talented blockchain developers through the roof. According to a study released this week, it topped the list of the most in-demand skill globally. The study by LinkedIn attributed the rise to the diversification of the technology from financial services to other industries. The fete is even more incredible given that blockchain didn’t crack the top ten skills last year.

Blockchain adoption was also in high gear, starting in Switzerland where a real estate company tokenized a $134 million property. BrickMark investment company issued bond-backed tokens which represent shares in the building. The tokens are only available to accredited investors who will get to earn income from the rent as well as any rise in the building’s value.

The week also saw IBM expand its blockchain efforts, joining hands with one of the largest olive oil producers in the southern Mediterranean. CHO joined IBM’s Food Trust Network, which it will use to trace its Terra Delyssa virgin olive oil. The company will trace the oil from the farms where the olives are grown through the supply chain to the final consumer.

In Africa, a utopian crypto-powered city could be on the horizon. Global superstar Akon this week announced that the final plans for the crypto city were in place. The city will be powered by blockchain technology and transactions will be made in Akoin, a native crypto. There are glaring gaps however, such as the lack of a whitepaper for the project, which Akon must address if this real-life Wakanda is to become a reality.

Over in the Philippines, the government wants to build Asia’s Crypto Valley, and Japan is willing to help make this dream a reality. The two countries believe that blockchain technology, especially when applied to tokenization, has a great role to play in Asia’s future. The Filipino government also intends to construct an $80 million airport to connect the crypto valley, citing investors’ demand.

Huobi crypto exchange this week joined the Blockchain Turkey Platform, a cross-industry organization to harness the power of blockchain technology. The exchange has been operating in Turkey for half a year now and becomes the first major exchange to join the organization which consists of tech firms, banks and financial institutions, venture capitalists and the crypto industry.

Still in Asia, the Malaysian government has laid down guidelines for the ICO and IEO sector. Securities Commission Malaysia published the guidelines this week, requiring ICO and IEO issuers to register with the regulator beforehand. The rules also impose a $24.5 million cap on the offerings, but allow participation from both retail and institutional investors.

Blockchain and cryptos have for long been portrayed as bad for the environment, but this week, one big industry player was doing its bit to conserve it. Bitfury partnered with the United Nations on a project that seeks to plant 20 hectares of trees in Kazakhstan. The forestland is estimated will offset the company’s carbon footprint by 110%.

Finally, Libra, the Facebook project that you thought had died off, has established a new committee to guide its technical development. The Libra Association formed the five-member team to guide the development of Libra’s code, implement a technical roadmap for the project, direct the research and engage the Libra community. Diogo Monica, the founder of Anchorage and Nick Grossman, a partner at Union Square Ventures are among the members.

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